Often, clergy shares with others life's most tender and vulnerable moments. And then, once the intensity ebbs, usually after many years, the intimacy and frequency of the relationship ebbs as well. Sometimes the rabbi changes locations. Sometimes the other person does.
But then, every once in a while, re-encounter happens. This one was on Facebook.
Many years ago, I became part of someone's life when their spouse was dying. I fell in love with them both and with their family. I learned with them, sang with them, and eventually did bury my new friend, crying with their family hot, grieving tears. It was ravaging, and I've whispered my friend's name every Yizkor since.
Today, "by chance", I scrolled through FB (confession: I rarely do) and came across photos of my friend who had lost their spouse. I saw life in their eyes, glimpses into their next chapters since the grief we experienced together, clear happiness and health. All this brought new tears to my eyes, tears of comfort, tears of gratitude.
Years have passed since we've been near each other, and yet in this moment, time collapsed and I see hope.
Blessed is the One whose flow is Life itself.