When I first saw them I didn’t think anything of their presence at a cemetery where deer sightings are common. The two deer were just a few feet away as we paid our last respects to my wife’s cousin, Linda, and her husband, Don.
Partially hidden among the larger headstones, the deer got to their feet as we walked towards the grave site. But, as we spent time in quiet contemplation, one of them laid back down again. They seemed to understand our sadness and that we meant them no harm. Especially for Linda, the ultimate animal lover, this seemed so appropriate.
Unfortunately, she was not able to fight off this second bout of cancer in recent years. And, after saying that he was hanging on by a thread with her passing, Don died just days afterwards. Linda efficiently handled all the couple’s business affairs. But, everything was password protected on their computer. And, without any handwritten information or phone-book, he couldn’t access anything or call anyone. He felt so lost.
I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation (like dementia) given for his death; but, I believe he could also have died from – what used to be called – a broken heart.
We were unable to attend the brief burial service held earlier that day. Yet, attending by ourselves – along with our two new furry friends – felt perfect for us. During our last phone conversation Linda, not normally one to share her feelings, uncharacteristically told us how much she loved us. It was as though she decided to draw family and friends ever closer to heart.
Thinking back, I wondered if it were possible that God’s nature was channeling Linda’s and Don’s spirit through those two deer. I know, to some, this will sound silly; or, maybe naïve to others. In their own ethereal way, their presence seemed to be saying, “Don’t grieve. We’re at peace now.” To me, all the love in the universe is ours… like a never-ending river of life flowing through us .
However, it occurs to me, we tend to put “Life“ on trial – without giving it a chance.
We demand what we want from life instead of accepting what life has to offer. When we don’t get it, we try to run things on our own. Yet, running against the wind in some self-defeating manner is not a long-term strategy for living.
We know love when it’s given, but we can’t help our paranoia. For some reason we find it hard to acknowledge love’s impossible solutions. So, by expecting the worse we are strangely validated when it comes… like being programmed not to trust others. But, contrary to our efforts it dawns on us: we need each other’s help and kindness.
Life really is the master and it demands a grateful heart. We’re free to dismiss or condemn it, but experience shows how circumstances can change and worsen as we harden our attitudes. Plus, we run the risk of losing the good things we’ve actually gained. The hardest lesson? Seeing in the mirror what we’ve become without love.
As psychologist Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
“No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.”
~ Watching the Wheels by John Lennon – Watch on YouTube
That’s the way I figure it. FP
Photo is from Pixabay
First published at fredparry.ca
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His raison d’etre? “I’m one of those people who believe that if my work serves the common good, it will last; if not, it will die with me. I still believe that’s true.” Fred spent ten years as a columnist for Metroland Media Group – a division of the publishing conglomerate Torstar Corporation.
His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is also available via Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca