I like many are deeply saddened by the news of John O'Donohue's sudden death while on holiday in France. John was a giant of a man in so many ways, yet I have never met anyone more gentle of heart and spirit.
I remember fondly that when he spoke to me just after the death of my Mum, his gentleness and creative genius touched my griefing soul.
Whilst he is no doubt just about now bending Yahweh's ear about something or other, his God-filled soul and kind spirit are at peace.
These words are from John's own hand and minister to us even though his journey is complete.
On the death of the Beloved
Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts, Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawnBrightening over our livesAwakening beneath the darkA further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voiceFound for usA new musicThat brightened everything.
Whatever you enfolded in your gazeQuickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowersOn the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was live, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longerFrom the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everythingTo which we bring our best refinement.
Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glowsAnd music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hopeIn every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and loveUntil we see your beautiful face againIn that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
-- John O’Donohue