One Year Anniversary of Departure – On the Loss of a Fellow Pilgrim

On this anniversary of my departure for Spain, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity I had to walk not one, but two Caminos, thus far.  I truly believe that the Camino calls people, for whatever reason they personally might need, and there have been many stories of grace and love from pilgrims of all walks of life that support this theory.

However, not all memories are happy or loving ones.  Earlier this year, a man came to the forums ( seeking information about his sister, with whom he had lost contact while she was on the Camino.  It had been a few days since he had heard from her, and normally their correspondence was more frequent.  There were some in the forum who said that perhaps she wanted the solitude and had silenced herself on purpose.  Others chimed in to say they had seen her previously, but not since.  Others offered their prayers and support and promises to keep eyes and ears open while in the area she was last seen.

I kept abreast of some of the developments, or lack thereof, and though her last sighting was Easter Sunday (early April), it was still a shock when, a couple of weeks ago, an arrest was made in her disappearance and the suspect led police to her body.  How could this be?  This wonderful place full of goodness, and for many an opportunity to draw closer to God. How could something like this happen?  Still shocking to think of.

So, on this happy anniversary for me, I offer my condolences to those who knew Denise, and to all those in the greater pilgrim community who felt a connection to her.  But, more importantly, I will offer my prayers for an adventurous woman, seeking her deeper purpose, who will never get to celebrate this type of anniversary.

Let perpetual light shine upon her, Oh Lord, and may her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

For more of Denise’s story:

For future pilgrims wanting to honor Denise:

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2 Responses to One Year Anniversary of Departure – On the Loss of a Fellow Pilgrim

  1. Fred Holmly says:

    Appreciate your comments Andrea as well as your Camino del Norte blog. Thank you for being so thorough! I will be walking CdN in 4 weeks and your descriptions have been a very useful orientation.


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