I’d been out of town visiting some teachers and arrived back in Beijing around the same time as her flight. After fetching my bag, I went in search of one in mourning.

She found out last night that her mom has passed into glory, setting the wheels in motion to return to the States for the funeral. We met where many meet. Near the Starbucks and then went to check her in for her international flight and find some lunch. We shared more than a burger at Burger King and did more than kill some time before her flight. I learned about her and about her family.  I remembered other people I have sat with in that airport as they joined the ranks of those who start their mourning afar. I recalled a terrible morning in Phuket when my friend received the call adult children abroad dread. Come home, there has been a death.

It was soon time for her flight. For a brief while our paths crossed and while it might not have looked like much to others at Burger King, we were on holy ground.

Though we do not mourn as those who have no hope, we do mourn. And so she returns to the US for her mom’s funeral and as I went to the taxi line I wondered when I might receive such “the call.” The thing about holy ground is that it can be anywhere and at anytime and may even involve a burger and fries.