I stood at the head of the large coffin draped in an American flag adorned with flowers as wind whipped across the grassy graveyard. A small crowd of mourners stood looking on as the priest spoke his final words with tears and tissues. Two marines stood at attention in the strong afternoon sun in formal dress. Unmoving statues, they looked on. In the distance a third stood bugle in hand. The sound of Taps broke the solemn silence. We stood as if in a trance, onlookers to a sacred ritual. We said our goodbyes as the dead descended to the ground returning to the dust from which he came. We, the remnant felt the pain of loss, each in our own way.
Finding Tom delves into the struggles of loss. In our broken world, there is no avoiding death. It stings us all leaving scars that we must reckon with. Tom, is just a young boy when he stares death in the face for the first time, and he like those around him must deal with it in his own way.
As Christians today, how do we deal with death? How do we honestly address loss? How do we not allow death to have the final say? I do not claim to have all the answers, or even to say that there is a one size fits all, but in those moments I believe there is power in sharing stories. There is healing in communal remembering. Not, idealization of the deceased and making them out to be something they were not, but rather honest humanizing stories; good, bad, funny. Somewhere in the sharing we find ourselves on the road to healing.