“Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love,
and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute. . .
That sounds very hard at first,
but at the same time it is a great consolation.
For the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bond between us.
It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap: he doesn’t fill it,
but on the contrary, he keeps it empty
and so helps us to keep alive our former communion with each other,
even at the cost of pain.
The dearer and richer our memories, the more difficult the separation,
but gratitude changes the
pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.
We must take care not to wallow in our memories,
or hand ourselves over to them.
Just as we do not gaze all the time at a valuable present,
but only at special times,
and apart from these keep it simply
as a hidden treasure that is ours for certain.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer