Monday, the world lost one of the most beautiful people I’ve never met. You have that right. I never met her in person. But, through the miracle of the internet, we knew each other very well. She was part of a movie group that I started a few years ago for just a few trusted people to be able to respectfully chat about our love of film. And, she was part of a small support group of women who trusted and loved each other enough to share our struggles, our truths and our joys without judgment. So, Sharon Walker, our beautiful friend, was an important part of many lives on Facebook. I can only imagine just how much of a graceful presence she was to her family and friends from her life in Los Angeles. What a tremendous lady who is so missed.
I was honored to have many conversations with Sharon. In every conversation, she made sure to communicate that she loved me, and I would tell her the same. She called me sister and I called her the same. I am not sure I deserved such an honor, but, it was something I treasured. I know that she was that way with many people in her world on Facebook. She suffered from MS, and it was painful for her to write sometimes. But, she loved to be a part of the lives of so many of us. She treated these fine women as daughters, sisters, and friends. Her loving words, her encouragement was something all of us needed and craved. And, we gave back too. I’m thankful that I was able to make her laugh sometimes. I know all of her friends in our groups made her life a bit more joyful and rich. And, she needed that connection as much as we did – maybe more.
Whatever the case may be, because of the bond of love and trust, we were all able to get to know one another honestly, and without judgment. Her love reached across racial, national and religious boundaries. She was raised Jehovah’s Witness, I was raised conservative Wesleyan. Others of us have shaky faith, but those differences didn’t matter. We were from Chicago, Texas, Indiana, New York, the UK, Colombia, Mexico, Michigan and Georgia. None of that mattered. Love knows no boundaries.
And, that is why — though I miss her so much and wish every day that I could share with her some crazy movie I’d seen, or some funny thing my cat or dog did — I know that we are not truly separated. That’s because we loved each other. And, love doesn’t die.
If we could love each other across the miles, and social divides, we can love each other still. Even though her body is beyond repair on this Earth, her love is still alive (call it spirit if you will).
I think of this verse, from Romans 8.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sometimes, it feels like loving people is a risky business. When Sharon died, I had many emotions running through me at once – and one of them was the thought that I don’t want to get close to anyone again and feel such pain. But, when I remember that love is forever, then I realize that I can take the step to love again. Whatever love I give, whatever love I receive — it is not in vain. And, that’s because, love will NEVER, EVER fail — and love never dies.
Rest my sweet sister Sharon. Thank you for your amazing, loving heart. We will see you again. Hugs.