How much loving have you done?
How full and free your giving?
For living is but loving
And loving only giving.
I suspect that some relatives may have left Ken's funeral a little disappointed at its lack of ritualized morbidity. But those of us who knew Ken at all, recognized that he would want the last laugh, and so through the solemnity and grief of our farewells, we celebrated. There was a party to be had.
Still, there is nothing light hearted about such a loss-- and in the living, the loving, and the dying, there was much provocative thought spawned. Who are we really but who we love? And those who love us in return? And in that rhythm, no lack is found. The wealth in caring always warms us, and opens our eyes to the hurt in others. Our loss can not be recovered. Still, we huddle, and strength is found in widening our circle to embrace every person who Ken loved.
Ken's memorium read:
Do the ordinary in extraordinary ways,
Do the extraordinary in ordinary ways.
Let this be my shrine for Ken.
May I not busy myself caring for my children to such a frenzy that I do so without CARE.
May I go about my employment as the means to living my life with fullness of giving and not to fuel the desire to GET.
May I eat to live and never LIVE to EAT.
May I be willing to stand alone.
May I not strive to make myself small and powerless.
May life and love have the last laugh, and may we have God's power in us to kick at death and darkness and wherever we go, to leave that place a little brighter.
I am reminded again of Nelson Mandela's powerful speech, and because he says it so well, I will conclude in his words, and not my own.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."