People dear to me are dying. There is no rhyme or reason to it, just like there is no rationale for the timing or meaningfulness of any loss. We can construct a story about why and how things happen, but we can never ever know cause and effect for sure. I can make no sense out of life and death except to embrace the timing of both. Today I am celebrating Paul's life as I grieve his death.

My first introduction to Paul was when the cells that would become "him" were still dividing, multiplying and maturing. At the same time as his mom was pregnant with him, her second child, I was pregnant with my first. We all met in the obstetrician's waiting room. I have a vivid memory of an invitation to put my hand on Rita's belly to feel the baby kick. That was my first meeting with Rita, and my first sweet experience of Paul. Over the years, our lives touched many times. Paul grew to be a gentle giant of a man, his tenderness belied by the strong, tall, loving and competent son, brother, husband, father, and friend he became. 

As I write this, his funeral is occurring, and I am not there. I'm at the seashore far away. Still my heart is mourning with his family and friends. The sunny day feels dissonant with the sadness I feel - far too bright and beautiful; perhaps a reminder to celebrate his life at the same time as we mourn his death. The pounding waves match the pattern of my heart beat. The strong breeze moves the fronds of the palm trees in waves of farewell to Paul. And the sun, a continuing source of life, never withholding its light or energy, delivers a warming hug here, just as it does to those who grieve back home.

If there's a spirituality that embraces everyone and offends no one, it's nature. For me, nature includes the totality of all known and unknown phenomena; the infinite potential we don't yet understand - how life springs into existence from a seemingly dormant seed pod, and how death  is programmed into that very same life.

Nature is universally with us and gives solace with no demands. We are part of it; never separate from it. Like each of us, Paul too is one of nature's wonders.