Having just celebrated All Saints Day and been moved by our rector's beautiful sermon and prayers for the departed, I feel keenly aware of the “cloud of witnesses” surrounding me and praying for me too. That cloud is comprised of all those saints—known and unknown—who have gone before. I don't believe death separates us from the love and prayers of these saints. [Tweet this!] As I think of those beloved people who have loved and nurtured me—my father, my grandparents, my friends Susan Massie and Chuck Sheridan, my Sunday School teachers, and so many more—I am amazed at the strength of the connection I still feel with them.

These reflections bring to mind the captivating poem by E. E. Cummings I received from my friend Kathy Ackerson a few weeks ago. She has recently lost a son, the father of her granddaughters, and her poignant message touched me deeply. I hope its expression of love and eternal connection will help you feel closer to someone you love but who may not be with you physically.

Here is the poem I sent to the girls this fall. I guess I never knew I might have need of it myself. Perhaps you can use it for one of your lovely essays. It has multiple/layered meanings. Particularly for me with my granddaughters…without their daddy. Cummings does need some understanding, but his expressions of love are pretty awesome…..Kathy

i carry your heart with me (1952)

by E. E. Cummings 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

Whose heart are you carrying with you this day? Rest assured they are carrying yours as well.

Photo credit: “Red heart in black and white hand” by Michael Bednarek via DollarPhotoClub
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