Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death. His vital spirit departed his earthly body at 12:10 AM, Monday, March 7, 2016. Three years gone like yesterday or three years gone like a lifetime ago. I see his last breaths, long, slow and then stilled. I watch the color fade, feel the warmth diminish. His spirit taking flight. Despite our agony, our profound sadness, it is a Holy time, a thin place, the diaphanous gauze that separates heaven and earth, life and death nearly indistinct.

How to remember him on this third anniversary? Children traveling, grandchildren dispersed, calls and text messages have to suffice this time. They fill the gap, they honor, friends too, recall the date.

I’m invited to a piano concert this evening March 7th. Serendipitously it is called “Love, Death and Resurrection”, a recital by the amazing pianist Paul Barnes, whose critical superlatives precede him. Gifted with powerful, long-fingered hands, he expresses music with body, mind and spirit. I sit transported, life, death and resurrection a recurring theme.

I think of my dear one, truly transported to a “better place”. I think of how he  too loved music, spoke of finally receiving the gift of a voice worthy to sing in a men’s glee club (once he hit heaven’s shores)! As music soars I can hear threads of love, death and resurrection. I can imagine my husband, eyes closed, nearly beside me, though still in another realm. I feel at peace, resting, enabled to recognize the thin-ness that separates us, a mere layer, insubstantial and sheer.

Later I drive home to Indian Knoll Trail. Tears flow. They are tears of thanksgiving, longing and yet wonder. Wonder for the gift of this evening, for the thin place I experienced. And wonder for what I believe will still be mine to know.

I Corinthians 13:12

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,

even as I am fully known.

April D. Carlson, LCSW