When I awoke this morning, there seemed to be a running list of these saints…dear parents and parents in law, beloved grandmother (my girlfriend!), gentle sister, dear friends and acquaintances (though I must say the acquaintances usually become friends)….all of these and more have blessed my life in some way. And because of them I've learned countless lessons that have been so valuable in my life. I also think of the many people who have died at our parish and of their families that I've been privileged to help in their journey of grief. There are also so many hospital patients, particularly cancer patients that I have been blessed to know. Each death is significant in a different way, yet each has left a footprint on my heart.
The most shattering, soul altering death, though, has been our precious Meggan. She was almost 15, our youngest child.There are no spoken or written words that could ever describe life without her. Strange how some view death….a woman recently said how wonderful that I've gotten "over it." She didn't know me or our family or anything about the tragic death of Meggan and two of her friends. And I'm positive she wasn't being callous…..she was just clueless…..until she started to think about her 14 year old granddaughter. Perhaps she will remember.
EVERY loss of a loved one is significant. The impact from the sudden deaths of my mom and sister, mother and father in law
and 4 very close friends have never left me…and that's not a bad thing. When you love deeply you hurt deeply.
A dear priest friend of ours always includes this thought in the funerals he celebrates….although your loved ones are "gone," you only have to say their name and they are with you. That's tremendously comforting for me.
Today and every day, utter the names of those you have loved and lost…..they are always with you.