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Talking to Dead People

November 28, 2009

I was about 27 and sitting on a bed in my room in a very old house that Boston College used for graduate housing.  I started law school the year before, and then decided to combine it with a master’s in pastoral ministry.   BC had arranged for students in the pastoral ministry program to rent space in the old house.  During my time there I learned some memorable things:  1.  Bats like old houses in Boston.   2.  Nuns are not all alike.    3.  A few people can eat the same food with e coli and not all will get sick.

One afternoon in July, I was sitting on my bed reading something….. and was startled when a book fell from a shelf lined with books and landed loudly on the floor.  When I picked it up later, I saw that something had fallen out and picked it up.   It was a prayer card from when my grandmother died, when I was 18.   And I looked at it, and saw that this day was the anniversary, the same day in July that she had died.   “Hi Grandma!”, I said to Grandma, who said “Hi” first.

I’m a lucky girl, being that Grandma said “Hi” first — and the first dead person to say hi.   I don’t trust anyone else as simply, or un-complicatedly, like Grandma.

So, this November I had hard work to do, getting crap together for my case with Missouri Jesuits.

I was putting it off, the way we people shut down when things are just way too hard.

And then the spirit of San Salvador captivated my reading, my conversations, my prayer — when I was hardly aware, not feeling much Catholic anymore…..  It’s the 20th anniversary of the murder of 6 Jesuits and 2 women co-workers in San Salvador.

And then one morning it was easy:    Tell the uncomfortable  truth, put the important papers together, and get it done.

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