I think we probably all have a month like it. For me, it’s this month – July. It’s the one month of the year which seems to be packed with all sorts of events – birthdays, anniversaries, anniversaries of death, and other such important occasions. While these are usually fairly well-spaced throughout the remainder of the year, July is the exception – here, there is a run of them. Today, for example, is the anniversary of the death of my mother which – for me – is the most important one. You could say it’s ‘a month of days’.
All the different anniversaries and the events of all sorts that we commemorate, say something about those people and the place they have held in our lives, their importance to us and how they have formed or changed us as human beings. That is certainly the case for me. It isn’t a miserable month – though it does have it’s moments – but it is one I sort of dread as it approaches, as the majority of the events concern loss rather than anything else.
It was once famously expressed that “no man is an island” – and how true those words are. We are each the product not only of our experiences, our culture and particular situations, but also of the effects of those closest to us in life – and who, very often, touch us most deeply by their loss.
The great thing about a Christian faith is that we do not believe that “this is it, this is all there is” – for us, there is much, much more yet to come. I find that a very consoling thought. It allows human grieving, certainly – even Christ wept at the death of Lazarus – but it tinges that grief with something far more powerful; hope.
And so today, and all through this ‘month of days’, I will think and remember and grieve – but also hope.