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The God of Mystery, Science and Wisdom

Here is something that is a mystery to me

That we cannot truly understand the fact of death and go on living ourselves

We can accept but we cannot understand

Only the dead understand

This morning I am watching my father’s memorial service seven years ago going through an old box of DVDs and there it was

There he was

I heard things I had not heard on that day as I was busily trying to understand death

This morning I heard both joy and impossible grief I heard a prayer to the only god who could ever have been my father’s the god of wisdom, science and mystery

(My father did not allow for the mystery part until the very end of his life which itself remains mysterious but I’m certain that god never let go of him)

I listened to the memorium of a man who never actually lived his life yet contributed to the fullness of so many others’

As if he died this morning I remember into the bones of my heart the extraordinary hole his death caused

And I felt, all over again my instinctual “no!” of that moment like it was that very day that his heart stopped beating in a surreal frenzy of nurses, doctors and beeping monitors and my mother being ushered out of the room and my father throwing his big Swedish workman’s hands into the air exclaiming, “Oh God!” just seconds before he was gone

In fact, watching this dvd, I think I felt even more the stab wound of death whose impossible imperative is that we continue to live especially now that one more has gone continue to live

sitting here at my kitchen table as the sun finds its way over our roof line into the top of the cottonwood tree kissing the scree-top mountains just beyond my husband on the other side of the world our children at school the elkhound gnawing on a breakfast bone I feel like I can’t possible stay here can’t not get in my car and drive drive drive to somewhere a place my car could not actually get me to I feel an urgency so large inside me the inside of my nose stings and my eyes fill with tears surely I’m not meant to simply carry on go on about my business how could that be possible when one’s father has died when anyone has died

try to understand this thing but only the dead can comprehend

I know this urgency too well When I was younger I interpreted it as a sign that I’m off track that I’m not doing something that is mine to do

now everything is different as the great god of wisdom, science and mystery tells me “Stay. Stay right here. That is exactly how this story goes. You stay right here.”