which can, when circumstances prevent physical nearness, be accomplished even in absentia--especially within the family of believers.
Emily Dickinson sent the following letter to a friend (Mary Bowles) who had delivered a stillborn baby—her third stillborn baby:
Don’t cry, dear Mary. Let us do that for you, because you are too tired now. We don’t know how dark it is, but if you are at sea, perhaps when we say that we are there, you won’t be as afraid.
The waves are very big, but every one that covers you, covers us, too.
Dear Mary, you can’t see us, but we are close at your side. May we comfort you?