I'm agnostic about life after death, but believe deeply in love after death. Not only do I believe in it, I experience it. We can arrange the pictures on the walls of our mind in any way we choose. As I slowly die of terminal cancer, blessed with the opportunity to rearrange those pictures more thoughtfully I fill my memory wall with images of love. The pictures that adorn my mind illuminate my life. Past and future disappear. Eternity, for me, is not a length of time extending on forever, but depth in time. In the time's eternal depth, through love's portals we enter heaven on earth. One with God, self and neighbor, we are saved.
This lesson lies at the heart of my final book, Love & Death. As I reflect upon it further, it grows in both clarity and power. I know how deeply love can hurt and how sensible it seems sometimes to rip its recurring promise from the tapestries of our lives. I also know how tempting it can be to armor our hearts from the pain of being broken, not only the pain of betrayal but also the abiding pain of loss.
Grief, you see, is love's measure. The courage to die is nothing when compared to the courage of those who live on after us, their hearts broken by their loss. Yet it is precisely at these moments when we are invited to stand before love's tribunal to be judged. Are you guilty of love or not guilty? That is life's ultimate question. Again and again over the course of a lifetime we are brought before the Tribunal of Love, where the innocent are damned and the guilty are saved.