Derek’s friend from UNH passed away. He was only 45, but had a lot of health complications.

He’s lost a lot of loved ones in the recent past. Jay, Tristan, Kathie, and both grandparents. Also his father, with whom contact was limited, and his aunt. All in the last few years. When I went upstairs to change, his cardinal was on.

The cardinal is a lamp I got Derek for Father’s Day last year after Tristan died. People you’ve loved and lost sometimes come back to visit you as cardinals. My mom does all the time. Right after Tristan died, Derek had a visit from a cardinal. I think once, they were even both out there at the same time.

Sometimes I have difficulty getting my head around what’s not observable. But my mom does visit from time to time, especially in my dreams. And that’s how I know. The difference between a visit and just a dream is palpable. And visits are always very pleasant and leave me feeling happy inside; not frightening or upsetting like the nightmares I occasionally have.

So that’s how I know about spirituality. Not from being dragged to church as a kid. Not from years of Sunday school. I know acutely from having lost my mother.

I can’t actually go into church anymore without becoming emotional. Especially from the singing.

I still am interested in Eastern religion, although reincarnation kind of freaks me out. Wouldn’t your soul get tired from living lives over and over?

Maybe the soul doesn’t fatigue the way the body does, though.

Anyway, I’m sorry, Derek. At least he’s not suffering. At least he made it to Colorado like he wanted.

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