When we lose loved ones to death, it is like they have accomplished the ultimate vanishing act. We know they are still with us, even as they have gone. We cannot see them, or speak to them, or call them on the phone to ask, "what WAS it in that recipe that made it so good, anyway?" We may not even "feel" their presence. But they are there.
They are there in the lessons we learned from them. They are there in the treasures they left behind. They are there in the breezes that blow on a warm spring day, and in the howling wind of a cold winter's night. They are in the faces of our children, and our reflection on glass.
They are in the gardens we grow, the gifts we give, and the people we know. They are in all the lives they touched, like ripples in a pond. They are in the love they gave, and the love given them. They are not gone, because they exist in our hearts, minds, memories. They will continue on as long as stories are told about them, or songs sung, or mementos passed down. They have vanished, and yet they remain.
My nieces are struggling with the loss of their grandmother today, but they must remember that she lives on in them, and she is not gone, but has just moved further away Home.