I recently read a story by Wendell Berry, originally published in the Atlantic’s Fiction Issues, 2008 (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200808/berry-stand). I commend the story on the whole, but I wanted to share this paragraph, which comes on the heels of the death of one of the characters:
“…their absence puts them with you in a way they never were before. You even maybe know them better then you did before. They stay with you, and in a way you go with them. They don’t live on in your heart, but your heart knows them. As your heart gets bigger on the inside, the world gets bigger on the outside. If the dead were alive only in this world, you would forget them, looks like, as soon as they die. But you remember them, because they were always living in the other, bigger world while they lived in this little one, and this one and the other one are the same. You can’t see this with your eyes looking straight ahead. It’s with your side vision, so to speak, that you see it. The longer I live, and the better acquainted I am among the dead, the better I see it. I am telling what I know.
It’s our separatedness and our grief that break the world in two…”
I have said it before, but Berry’s words brought up for me again the thought that death is a thin place, a place between this world and the next, that draws us on, even as it breaks us apart.