I recently attended a memorial service. I didn’t know the woman who died, Mary, very well, but that didn’t stop me from crying almost from the time the first words were out of the celebrant’s mouth. Like Lt. Columbo said, “…death reminds you of death” (or something close to that). Not only was I sad for Mary and her family, I was also remembering the loss of my own mother, my grandmothers, my father. Even though they died many years ago, for grief purposes, it could have been yesterday. Because I’d experienced the loss of my mother, I was feeling an overwhelming empathy for what Mary’s daughter must be feeling.
Something that struck me was this: many of the things that were being said about Mary’s interests and what was important to her were true for me as well. Loves the ocean? Check. Loves her family and friends? Check. Loves Bingo? Okay, well, as Meatloaf said, “two out of three ain’t bad”. Even though it’s common to hear how people are all different, it feels true that people are really all the same, too.
Between readings, I started to think about something one of my friends said about String Theory. I can’t recall her words exactly, but I remember that I created a visual of everyone being connected to each other through space and time by string (cooking twine, actually :)). It made me realize that even though I’d only met her a couple of times, because I was connected to people that she loved, I was also connected to her.
Doesn’t this idea give the phrase, “hanging by a thread” new meaning?