Monday, April 12, 2010


I think I've mentioned that in the last few hours of my father's life, he repeatedly lifted his hand and made a motion as if he were reaching for and twisting a doorknob. The day before Mom died, she lifted her hand and made a very distinct, deliberate knocking gesture.

When our cat Phoebe died, Harley searched for her all over the house. Periodically, he'd scratch at a closet door, which is what he does when another cat's trapped in there and he wants us to let the other cat out. Gary, watching this behavior, said, "We're sorry, Harley. She's behind a door we can't open."

Mom and Dad are behind a door I can't open, yet. When I cross that threshold, I hope they'll be waiting for me.


  1. I may have mentioned once, that when my Dad passed away, on the day and hour of his funeral the doorbell rang (no one there)and the phone rang (no one there). I remember he told me once just before Mom passed away that their doorbell rang and Mom, without even lifting her head said, "thats for me". There was no one there. Doors.

  2. Wow. Eerie stories. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous7:46 AM

    Doors ... so many things to think about and so many stories to tell. In this Easter season, I'll just mention one unforgettable encounter with a door from death to life, visiting St. Petersburg and gasping in awe at the visual splendor of a mosaic of the risen Christ standing at the door of his own tomb.

    The mosaic in question is on one of the exterior walls of the Church of the Savior (there's a fairly good photo of it at the Wikimedia Commons). Christ stands robed in white in front of an open doorway that is ablaze with gold tile. Seen in the sunlight, it is absolutely extraordinary.

    The church itself is also amazing - red stone topped with giant copper and enamel onion domes on the outside, walls covered from floor to ceiling with intricate mosaics of Biblical scenes and saints on the inside, icons everywhere. The Orthodox believe that every icon opens a door from the human "here" to the divine "there," and it is easy to share that belief in a sacred space like this one.

    When I sit in a church, any church, I feel closer to the whole communion of saints past, present, and to come, and the great gap between the living and the dead seems smaller to me.

    As you grieve your mother's and father's deaths, I hope you will find your own places of comfort and hope, places where your parents seem closer and not so far away, places where you can feel the comfort of God's arms holding the living and the dead alike.

    Love and prayer,



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.