Grief and memory

It is a small part of today’s gospel: “grief has filled your hearts.” It is something we have all experienced and will again experience. Perhaps the grief will be from a new event or cause, but it is also possible that one will again experience the grief from a past loss that surges back into life and memory. In my experience as priest and pastor I often come across the idea that many people believe if you have fully mourned a loss, then you will then achieve closure. The idea say that the process is (a) one mourns a loss and (b) in time one reaches closure. The very word “closure” seems to offer the idea of a door that closes behind you as you set upon the journey of the rest of your life, leaving the past in the past. If one hopes or believes that closure means one “has gotten over it” such that emotions about the loss are no longer triggered, then I think one is holding onto a myth. Continue reading

Edge of the World

Edge-worldGoogle Maps apparently is everywhere these days. I just finished searching on the app for places I knew from “back in the day.” The area around Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisii Town, Nakuru, and other places were well mapped; driving directions are available. Things have changed a lot. Back then my inquiry of how to get some place was often met with the less than precise “the other side” accompanied by a vague wave of the hand in a direction that was not always discernible to me. Especially when I was upcountry in the west of Kenya, there were times I felt like I was near the edge of the world. Continue reading