Alan and I have now have 6 close friends on our daily prayer list who are grieving the loss of their lifetime mate. That’s about 6 times as many as we knew 6 years ago, and prospects for the future are not looking up. This morning I had the rather dubious honor of signing up for Medicare…proof positive that I’m reaching the esteemed age of senior citizen, which (at least in our country) isn’t cause for anything more cheery than black frosting. However, there have been a few bright spots lately as we muse our way through our sixties, and one has been the gently humorous romantic drama just released this year under the title Heaven is Waiting. It’s actually the (fictitious) story of “Ned,” a 43-year-old who has been grieving the loss of his wife for 3 years but still isn’t ready to move on… although his daughter is more than ready for him to move on so that he’ll let her grow up! In the movie, Ned’s deceased wife, Kate, talks to him and gives him good advice, which some viewers find offensive, but I don’t! Ned isn’t “conjuring” her up; she just appears. In fact, most of the people I’ve known closely who’ve lost their mates do find themselves talking to their beloved MIA partners every now and then…you know…just to run ideas by them. If we talk to ourselves, why can’t we talk to a loved one who’s not present? Is that any different from asking yourself, “What would Father think?” (or whoever you used to go to for advice when you were little)? Of course, ultimately, the best advice comes from asking our Father, who art already in heaven waiting for us. He’s the only One who knows when and how to lead us past grief ruling paramount into living freely in the present again. But, that takes a long time, no matter how young or old.