On Thursday evenings I meet with a few adults who have lost spouses in the past months. We set aside nine consecutive weeks to come together, weeks corresponding to the nine lessons in our book The New Day Journal. Each week brings the group a bit closer together through sharing stories of loved ones, their feelings, and the ways they survive and try to thrive. Tonight will be our eighth gathering, and I will feel something like the meal when Jesus knew it would be his last one with his disciples. Although we’ll share emails and phone numbers, we know it will be different. We know that next week will be the last time all of us are in the same room. We’re friends now and confidants, no longer shy strangers. While tonight may be like the Last Supper (although we don’t share food), next week I hope will be like the times the Risen Lord had something to eat with his apostles. No food, but the nourishment that comes from a group of friends who understand, free to be themselves, and sharing a peace like the apostles hearing the Lord’s arrival with “Shalom.”

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