Tag Archive: Sadness

Dr. John

Judge the Living and the Dead

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My friend, John, died today. On hearing the news, I felt this huge surge of tears well up in my eyes. I sat and cried. I knew I was crying because I would miss him tremendously. I was crying for me, my loss. This wasn’t right. Oh, it is normal to cry because we will miss someone. But, his life was not, is not, something that we should ever cry over.

So, I began to search my thoughts about him, about his life. I wanted to think of something about him that touched me personally. There were many things, playing tennis with him, our trip with the soccer team to Ireland, our soccer trip to Canada, to name just a few. But the one that jumped up at me, almost immediately was this. Every week at half time of our older sons’ soccer game, John and my six year old son would go out to the open net and play shooter and goalie. My son was the shooter and John, the purposely faltering goalie. I sat at my kitchen table and cried. Even now, as I type this, the tears roll down my cheeks. But, again, I am crying for what I will miss, what I remember about him.

Each of us has a memory of John, something that is special just to us. All of these memories when put together create a picture of his life. This is not intended to be a eulogy. It is a simple statement that his life and our lives are full of memories. These are how we identify with him. But think about it…all these memories that all of us have of him they come together and form a beautiful life. This life is what he now presents to the welcoming arms of his God.

So, don’t cry for John. Yes, we will miss him, his smile, the twinkle in his eye, the love in his heart. But tears? No, they are not for him they are for what we will miss of him. He and all the memories that he made are now with God. He has gone home.

For us, let his life be a reminder of what our lives are all about. We are building up memories right now. The memories that people have of us will create a tapestry of our own life, as well. We can’t force those memories. We don’t try to shape those memories. They just happen. But the memories will be there, nonetheless. Our lives and how we live them determine the beauty of that tapestry. Congratulations, Dr. John! Thank you for such a beautiful life.

The 5 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) Eleanor and St. Therese
2) Death. How We Deal With It
3) Heads Or Tails
4) A Letter To Aunt Molly
5) Coping With Sadness


This post is for everyone struggling with a recent experience of someone passing on. I hope each of you is at peace. I recently had a conversation with one of my sisters, about Eleanor. El passed away on September 24th of last year. One of my sisters asked me, something to the effect of: “I know she is with God, but WHERE is she right now?” The question caught me off guard. By it, I felt that she was still struggling to cope with El’s death. We all do, you know. Struggle to cope with a loved one’s passing.

This struggle, I believe, is very natural and normal. We are, after all, very much finite beings. We are surrounded by cause and effect, we are immersed in time. We strive to put everything into its proper perspective. And so, we ask the question, “WHERE is she right now”? Right or wrong this is the only answer that we felt made any sense. I hope in some way, it helps you achieve your quiet time.

What happened at the creation of time? When God created man? He made mountains, forests and rivers. He made animals, fish and birds. But, He did something special with man. He breathed into us. Call it our spirit, our soul, our nature, whatever, but in the final analysis we have to come to the conclusion that He gave us something special, something that sets us apart from all other aspects of creation. Whether we wish to believe it or not, we were given something spiritual, something very special. God gave us, Himself.

There is a purpose in our life and the way we live it. And, this loving infinite God gave each of us a unique purpose, a path to follow. But that is not really exact. Because a path to follow implies there is only one way for us to walk, only one way to come to God and His love. This infinite God wants us to find our way back to Him. We sometimes wander off the path, maybe even take a new road, but His love for us is still there. And He writes straight with our crooked lines, our deviations. This loving God patiently waits for us to find Him, and to strive to know Him. We were created for this very reason, to realize who He is, and to feel His love for us. And, once we come to this realization, once we know and feel His love there is no going back. Everything else becomes secondary.

And so, we live our lives sometimes carefully, sometimes carelessly. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee”. We strive to find the answer for our fulfillment. And, maybe in that striving, we wander off the path. But, at some point in our life, we come to the realization that what we seek is really not here on this earth. At that point, our lives take on a brilliance, a compassion for others, because we know that God is in them, as well. Our lives take on a new direction, one of gentleness and kindness and love. God has quietly reeled us back to Himself.

Joe’s life, as was my sister’s, was full of tenderness, kindness and true affection for others. Somewhere along their path they came to a better understanding of themselves, of life, and of their God. Their love of God was manifested time and again with how they treated their fellow man. They loved, cared for, consoled, and comforted others. And yes, even made others laugh, for laughter is also a gift from God.

So the question still stands out there, “Where is he/she right now”? Their spirit, for that is truly who we are, has meshed once again with their Creator. God has embraced them tenderly and joyously. Their happiness and joy knows no limits, now.

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) A Letter to Aunt Molly
2) Eleanor and St. Therese

A Letter to Aunt Molly

Dear Aunt Molly,

There are times in our lives when words cannot reflect the ache that we feel in our heart. We know what we are experiencing, but to form these feelings into words seems to be an insurmountable task. Whenever we experience the loss of a family member, a loved one who has been very close to us, we feel that deprivation. It seems that we can only focus our thoughts on what we have lost, on what we had and will never have again.  It is during these times that we seem to go about our lives as if in a cloud. We know that something else is beyond this time, but we cannot see what it is through the mist of our tears. This is when we must live on trust. A trust that tells us that our friends will be there for us; a trust that comfort and consolation will once again, fill our hearts; a trust in a God who loves us and will hold us ever closer to His heart.

We walk on this earth for one reason, and one reason only. God has breathed into each of us a life so that we can experience the fulfillment of His love, the fulfillment of bringing His love to others. This is a task that every person on this earth has. Each act of love that we perform draws us closer to being united with our God. I believe that Rose completed all the acts of love required of her on this earth. God has drawn her back to Himself, completing the act of creation He had started with her.

The love you have for each other is a constant, it will always be there. Her love for you and family will never cease. Her death does not interrupt her love. Your lives have been intertwined with love and happiness and even sadness. And, through all of your experiences together, you grew together. Love is like that. Love draws us towards God and towards each other.

But what can be said of the heartache that we still feel inside us? How do we address the longing, the hurt which wells up in our throats and almost prevents us from swallowing? How do we deal with that? It is a normal response. It is a sadness that cries out for the loved one. We don’t want the separation. We will miss the shared experiences.

It is at times like this when our faith will rescue us. Yes, we hurt, but its focus is one-sided. We see our life without. We see joys missed. We see experiences no longer shared. These are normal, don’t get me wrong, but we can and should look through the eyes of faith. Christ’s death allowed us to see that suffering on earth is not to be shunned but accepted. His Resurrection enabled us to see that there is more to life than what we experience here on earth. His love for us enables us to love one another, and in so doing, unite with others and to God.

So you see, Aunt Molly, the love that each of you had for one another has blossomed into an eternal joy. Rose will always be with you. Your shared memories, your moments of laughter and sadness, the times you worried together, in all of these, Rose is still with you. Cherish these. Don’t let them fade. Your familial love has united each of you with each other and to God. Be at peace. She is.

This rather personal letter is made public for all the Aunt Mollies of the world, both male and female, who are going through a time of suffering and loss. The hope is that you may find some consolation within.