I just got off the phone with one of my best friends – her dad passed away this morning. A pastor’s wife I grew up under passed away a few weeks ago. Another friend lost her father in June. My sister passed away five months ago…

Death is a part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier on the ones left behind. When I was making relish yesterday and grinding ingredients the day before, I was flooded with memories of my grandparents and eating that same relish at their house growing up. Sarah and I would spend our summers there after we moved to BC, and while we lived in the same town, it was my second home. More often than not when I make my great-grandmother’s pumpkin pie, I feel a presence in the kitchen. I will never forget one of the first times Laurenne was taking an active role in making the pie with me. I knew Gramma Elms was watching over us – right there in the kitchen. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe that God allows those we love to sometimes have an active, helping role in our lives – whether through intercession or whispering words of encouragement or wisdom learned at their knee that had been forgotten for a time. Family is the life that runs through our blood. I welcome the little reminders of loved ones that come throughout the day. Often it is a smell that transports me back to a feeling or a specific memory. Often it is a flash in my mind that came out of nowhere that brings a smile or comfort. Often it is seeing characteristics or mannerisms of loved ones acted out generations later in my children. I am thankful that my God is one that brings quiet, peaceful and deep comfort, especially when I don’t realize just how much I need it at that very moment.

To those I love who have lost ones that they love, hold tight to cherished memories, grieve well, and begin to look for treasured moments of remembering that will carry you through, now and in the days, months and years to come.