Pastor’s message 7.3.23

Grief and Gratitude


Last Friday afternoon, I had to say, “farewell,” to my faithful, canine companion, Isaac. As you know, he’s been one of my favorite theologians and a consistent source of sermon material in the nearly 11 years we spent together. I’m not sure he always liked the titles of “paw-stor” and “dog-tor” that I bestowed upon him, but he went along with them in love as most of our four-legged friends do.

 A few years ago, I remember seeing that an Episcopal priest and author named William Miller had written an “o-bark-tuary” when he lost his dog named Willie Nelson. I thought to myself then, “I want to write one of those when Isaac’s time comes.” Don’t be surprised if you see an abbreviated version of the “o-bark-tuary” in the newsletter in a few weeks!

 Know how grateful I am for the texts, calls, emails, food, hugs, cards, and all other forms of care you have given to me the past few days. My heart is a healthy mix of heavy and grateful, and I appreciate your continued patience and love as I walk through this grief.

 Since I did not have a chance to share with you the books, movies, and music that brought me joy in June here in the newsletter, I’d like to recommend two books that capture the joy of our pets, even in the midst of loss. The first is The Gospel According to Sam: Animal Stories for the Soul by the aforementioned Rev. William Miller. The second is Dog Songs, a collection of poems by Mary Oliver.

 all good things to each of you,

dr. darian

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