Some years ago there was a Star Tribune editorial about remembering those who have passed.
It resonated with me and I clipped it, and have visited with it from time to time.
I again pulled it out last week, as I have been ruminating on the death of my friend Jennifer Koenig this past fall from glioblastoma at age 47. One paragraph in particular stops me short: "Given how crowded the world is, it's amazing how vast an emptiness one death can create....The change is shocking even when it's expected."
Jennifer pops into my head several times a day. The usual image in my mind's eye is of her tall, willowy figure, impeccably dressed, being pulled by her two dogs through the park while pulling her daughter in a red wagon.
She was a long-serving and beloved pastor at St. Olaf College, but I knew her as a friend and neighbor who embodied the word "community." She organized potlucks, was often the first to greet newcomers to the neighborhood, and carried extra bags to pick up other people's dog "gifts", so it was not surprising that our walks were characterized by my meeting all the people Jennifer already knew and had befriended.
It's our conversations I'll miss the most -- about our kids, politics, life in Northfield -- always engaging and at times quite humorous. As eulogized by her close friend and mentor Pastor Bruce Benson, we all thought we were Jennifer's best pal. Even in the throes of her illness, she always sincerely wanted to hear about what was going on in her friends' lives.
We all want to be remembered with love and gratitude. Jennifer, you are.