Today marks three months since my sister’s passing. I wish I could say it’s easier, but the pain is just as fresh and heart-crushing today as it was when the news first fell on my ears. Anticipating that today might be a little more difficult, last night before I went to bed, I took a sympathy card I received out of a keepsake box. I received many cards and expressions of sympathy over the last few months. But this one touched my heart in a special way—perhaps, because it was sent to me by a “stranger;” perhaps because I pulled it from my campus mailbox right at the end of the academic year when I was still reeling miserably and pushing myself to just “get through” the end of semester madness.
I left the card on my nightstand and opened it early this morning because I needed to read the words again. Postcrosser Silke in Germany sent the card. She resent a postcard because she rightly assumed that I did not received the first one she sent. Before resending, she reviewed my profile and visited my blog. At the time, the last post was about my sister’s passing. Silke was compelled to write and send this card.
Translation: “Heartfelt Sympathy–The only important things in life are the traces of love we leave as we go.“
She writes: “There is not much comfort to offer you. Your belief will help you […]. You will learn how to deal with the gap that is now in your life. The first year is the most difficult […]. Remember her, even though it is painful; remember how she did not concentrate on the hard fate that had to come to her. Try to think of the good times. I’m convinced the way you described her, that’s what she would want you to keep in mind. Not the end. Her life was more than the end. Take courage. Talk about her. Cry. This is the time to.”
This card is meaningful for another reason—its message reminds that the footprints and impressions, specifically, the traces of love we leave are most important in life. Silke grasps this concept. I am a stranger on “the other side” of the world, but she expressed a deep love for humanity by reaching out across land and water and sharing her light in this way. She left a “trace of love,” a strong impression on my heart and in my life.