All too frequently these days I am reminded of the words of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz when she warns Dorothy that the last to go has to watch the others go before her.   Every time I lose a loved one or friend I feel the void and am again forced to face my own mortality.  That is a gift that too often I brush aside, therefore, being compelled to focus, centers me. Even though my faith sustains me, my questions bubble to the surface.  My biggest fear is that I will not be prepared.  Who can be?  Some people leave us after a prolonged illness, others in a flash like super-star, Kolbe Bryant.  How many individuals in the lane next to us on the expressway are on their way to say farewell to a loved one as I worry about making my nail appointment?  “Please Lord, let me be aware of the suffering of others.  Let me be sensitive to their loss and longing as we pass in our day to day lives.  Connect us in the knowledge of our impermanence that unites us beyond any race, color, creed or orientation that separates us. I ask this in Your Name, Amen!”

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