Right now, for me, keeping faith with my family's dead is mostly about continuing - in concrete ways as well as feeling - to pass on love and education within the family, and the doctrine of informed citizenship and service in the greater world. Grandma Anna's ethic is to find beauty in what we do - even the little things (the details) like spacing the clothespins mindfully., and to love the children always, before anything else. Grandpa Rudolf taught me that story is a powerful connector - to honor and keep the stories, always. Daddy taught me to findi work about which I feel passionate and doing pursuing it full tilt is important. From Mama, I learned to keep on keeping on, honesty and sincere apology, to know that I will stick foot in mouth at times and that it is my responsibility to remove it and make what amends I can. And Kerry - Learn and love, love and learn, and anything that happens - even cancer at 36, can be used for good. keeping the faith with those who died in wars is at least in part commitment to building a world where war may become less tempting. Also, a willingness to fight, die, sacrifice, if that truly seems the only way - but only as a last resort. I'd like to be a pacifist but I'm not. I would have fought Hitler. I'd fight physically today to save my grandkids. Balance is always hard.
So what about the rest of you. Hope do you keep faith with your beloved dead? What are the lessons? The gifts?