Today, my buddy Geo is passing through town and stops in for a couple of hours. Geo and I met, neither of us remembers exactly when, it was over 15 years ago back when we were both coming out of traditional Christianity and exploring Universalism. We were friends on either AOL or Yahoo and met one time in person at a small Universalist conference in Indiana. Somehow, in the era of Facebook we reconnected. We’ve always had a special bond, made more special when Geo’s wife Bonnie suddenly transitioned just over two months ago. Geo and Bonnie have been together since high school- 41 years They were planning their retirement together. Bonnie had just had a hip replacement so she could be mobile and they could travel together. Then, just a few weeks after the surgery, she was gone.
Geo and I have talked many times since then. While losing a spouse and losing a child are different, in some ways, losing a soulmate is losing a soulmate. And I know the unexpected gut punch of your loved one being there one minute and gone the next. I’ve been so proud and amazed at how Geo has handled Bonnie’s transition, always keeping faith that Bonnie is still right here, honoring Bonnie, celebrating their time together, and never losing faith that their time together has not come to an end.
Geo is honoring Bonnie by going on a road trip and spreading her ashes in places special to them. One of his friends, who hates Ohio State, instructed him to not spread any of her ashes in Ohio. But, when Geo stopped by, this man I have only met once in the flesh, wanted to spread some of Bonnie’s ashes here. What he didn’t know is that we have a tree in front of the house where we have spread Shayna’s ashes. So, that’s where we spread Bonnie’s ashes here. Geo’s having his van converted into a mini-RV and will be spreading Bonnie’s ashes across the country.
As I was in bed last night I was thinking about this whole ashes to ashes, dust to dust thing. The belief many have is that we come from the dust and we return to the dust. It’s poetic. And, it’s interesting. In a very real sense, we are always connected to the Earth and everything and everyone in it. Our bodies are made of the stars that exploded billions of years ago, as is everything. We take in nutrition from plants and animals that take in nutrition from the Earth. We breathe in the oxygen the trees produce and the trees use the carbon dioxide we produce. We drink water from the oceans and rivers and our waste products return to the Earth. And, when we “die” our bodies return to the Earth. But, the thing is we are not our bodies. When Shayna passed, when Bonnie crossed over, they did not fall asleep. They stepped out of the bodies that they used when they were here. They are more alive than they ever were. For those whose bodies were buried in cemeteries, we don’t have to go to the cemetery to visit our loved ones. I can see them now. They’re sitting there next to us and we say “I’m going go the cemetery to see Joe.” and they say “OK. I guess I’ll come along because I’m right here with you.
I titled this Geo and Bonnie visit because I know Bonnie is still right with Geo. I know she and Shayna were right there in that conversation we had yesterday and I hope they were proud that we know enough to acknowledge that and to continue to do what we to do honor their legacies.