This past week I had the pleasure of entertaining my brother, his wife, and my two lively little nephews who were visiting from Michigan. Unfortunately, during the visit my brother received a call from home. I could tell by the sound of his voice, that it wasn't happy news. Our cousin Ed, who was only 59 years old, had passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. We were in the toy store with the children at the time of the phone call , so we all just continued on shopping, and watching the little ones search for the perfect toy. We didn't talk much about it over the next few days. For me, it just didn't seem possible.
I left Michigan in 1984, and saw Ed only a few times since then. But the memories I have of him are delightfully positive. As children, we loved him. And when I think of him as an adult, I envision a man with a smile that filled his whole being. From what people tell me, he was always there when others passed away, spreading positive thoughts and just the right amount of humor. He was a shining light.
Since I wasn't there for his funeral, that day I began writing cards to my cousins and Ed's wife, Karen. I remember when Ed and Karen were dating, we thought they were the best couple ever. We wanted to be around them, maybe somehow hoping their wonderfulness would rub off on us. I recall there was a short time when they broke up, and we crossed our fingers hoping they would reunite. And so they did, they were married 40 years and had 5 children.
As I wrote my note to Karen, things became more clear for me. I realized that the best way to honor Ed was to follow his lead, and spread light to others. Later that day, I sat down to do my daily meditation. I thought of Ed, and how he had become devoted to God as an adult, and how he made some people a little uncomfortable with his regular references to God. But everyone loved him anyway, because he was Ed, and we all knew he was special.
I meditated on how I could follow his lead in my own way. I envisioned his shining smile and realized that words were not necessary, all I had to do was center in my heart, fill and surround myself with loving light, and then send it out to others. The light I have available to me is a never ending supply, just as it is for everyone. We can give and give, and there will always be more than enough love and light for ourselves and for any person or situation we wish to share it with. Shine on Ed! I will follow your lead.