Depending what I believe about an after-life and where you are now- there are two very different Daniels in my mind. Sometimes I try to figure out if I sense one more than the other – and hope that might give me some clue as to which one you are now.
The first, is ignorant. He doesn’t know that he died on July 6, 2010 and left me and Audrey behind. He doesn’t have any knowledge that he would die at the age of 33. He doesn’t realize that I’ve had to plan his funeral and bury him. His life and awareness stopped on a Tuesday in a lake in Switzerland. I pity this Dan. “My poor Dan,” I say when I think of him.
The second, is full of knowledge and awareness that is far beyond my scope. All of the questions that we’ve struggled with together for years are answered for him. He has no doubt. He sees in full what I still see in part. He knows he died. He has understanding. He is wise. He has graduated.
If I am honest, both of these make me uncomfortable. If I believe the first, I am full of sorrow- not just for me but also for you for the loss of your life and for your ignorance of that loss which accentuates it. If I believe the second, I am not sure I know you. I feel foolish and small for I am the ignorant one in comparison to all that you now know. I was the one who at least pretended to be wiser in our relationship. I will gladly give that up. I want to be foolish and small and ignorant.
I haven't lost a loved one recently (my parents died in 1998 and 2002) but I entirely relate to the two scenarios you describe. Most of us simply cannot KNOW. We are left with hope, or despair. Practicing faith is just that: practice. I aspire to faith but sometimes it crumbles like eggshell in my hands.
Mostly I just wanted to stop by and say that I am thinking of you.