A poem for this time of year, when – with the fall of autumn leaves – it seems that letting go is the lesson we have to learn, even if we don’t want to:
May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence,
that nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo.
May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere,
where the presences that have left you dwell.
May you be generous in your embrace of loss.
May the sore well of grief turn into a seamless flow of presence.
May your compassion reach out to the ones we never hear from.
May you have the courage to speak for the excluded ones.
May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.
May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one.
May your longing inhabit it’s dreams within the Great Belonging.
John O’Donohue, A Blessing for Absences