The hymn wove through us like audible Gospel thread tying us all to each other.
Tonight I went to the candlelight memorial service for Camille Cleverly, who a few days back was reported missing. This afternoon her body was found near Bridal Veil Falls.
I don’t know much about what happened, nor did I know Camille. However, I do know a lot of girls in the same boat Camille was in just hours before she disappeared, and felt like I should remember not only the girl that disappeared, but how vulnerable we all are to sudden and drastic changes, and that we, like the candles we lit in Camille’s remembrance, can quickly start flickering or even be blown out (if you know what I mean).
As I sat there among the mourners, I got to thinking about how one person’s death is really sad for everyone but the dead. We all get left behind to deal with life without the deceased, and the deceased gets to go hang out with grandma and grandpa while they patiently wait for us to die and join them. And I’m sure that the time that passes between a loved one’s death and the deaths of those left behind is much shorter for the dead on that side than it is for the living on this side. The only thing that could cause the deceased grief would be our grief (and I suppose the sins of the world, the overall rejection of the Gospel, etc.).
The Scriptures say that our nature doesn’t change from night to day when we die, so maybe as we grieve, we should think about what the dead one would tell us if he or she were allowed to communicate with us. If they were funny in life, they’d probably be funny in death.
The memorial service was beautiful. As we lit our candles in the darkened stadium, Elizabeth Smart played a song on the harp. We reflected on things, such as the fragility of life, how complacent we become when we think we’re safe, etc., and at the end of the harp solo as we continued contemplating life, a closing prayer was offered. After the final “amen” was said, the crowd, under the inspiration of Heaven and direction of angels, simultaneously broke out into a whisper-quiet rendition of Nearer My God, To Thee.
It was the perfect ending to a rejuvenating Sabbath.