Memories of

Sarah van Laer-Hansen

Dec 19, 1959- Oct. 21, 2011

Requiem- Lee van Laer
In moments like this I seek explanations
But my explanations break down.

I try to philosophize
But my philosophies break down.

I try to rationalize
But my rationalizations break down.

The only thing that does not break down is love.

The love of parents and children is tested. The love of brothers and sisters is tested. And the love of mankind is tested. But although love is eternally tested, it never breaks. The love of God for His creation does not break. No matter how many times love is tested, I repeatedly come to moments where I see that although I am weak, and my own love is weak, love itself is not weak, and it does not break.

For years, almost every day, I’ve climbed the same hill alongside the Hudson River with my dog. Last saturday, the day after Sarah died, I was climbing the hill and realized that it was the first time in my life I had ever climbed the hill without my sister in the world.

That thought stopped me two thirds of the way up the hill, just as I cleared the treetops to a spot where the sun shone through, filtered through afternoon clouds. It filled the sky with what seemed like the radiance of the soul.

I stood in that light and looked into that light, which was a light of truth and a light of hope, and I called out to Sarah,

“You are loved.”

We all carry our stories of Sarah in us, whatever they are, countless stories. There are too many to tell. All these fragments of memory help to make the fabric of life real, but what makes the fabric whole is love.

Sarah loved and was loved, and we’re all here to testify to that love, which doesn’t die, but lives on in each passing moment.

There is that love in all of us; and there is also the perfect Love of God, accompanying every act and circumstance of creation- even the terrible ones which we don’t want, and can’t understand.

Where situations are impossible and words fail, love suffices.

With that love, I remember Sarah’s passion; the wild cards she played, and her effort to struggle through a lifetime of chronic pain, yet still raise a family and find time for work and joy. I remember her creativity. I remember her courage and her crazy, irreverant sense of humor. I remember the way she filled the whole room with her own unique energy of life.

How can we speak of a life like this?

Words aren't enough. But love is enough.

Love is the best we have. It is made of ten thousand impossible things, so it is stronger than the possible. It will always be the foundation on which every memory of Sarah rests.

There is no foundation greater than this; it is a good one, which time and death have no power over.

Sarah, we love you.



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