The Right Picture
All Souls’ Day (November 2) can be a very confusing day. It’s very easy to celebrate this day remembering all those who have gone before us, praying for them, and asking for their prayers. It is very easy…. Until suddenly, someone we know, someone we love, someone we weren’t ready to let go – is gone. This day becomes a little harder to celebrate then.
This day for me, was just another day, until this year. Now, two people I love are not here and it seems wrong to celebrate. How can there be celebration in loss, anger, and grief? The tears, the emptiness, and the anger can make it too easy to look at the wrong picture. We see only the loss, the heartbreak, the emptiness, and the loneliness. However, beneath the cloud of desolation, the sun is shining. Sometimes, it just takes a while to see the rays of hope.
“Butterfly, Fly Away”
The Bible tells us (Wisdom 3:1-3):
“The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.”
It’s natural to want our loved ones back. Why now? Why them? We want to hang on and never let them go. But when we look at that Scripture passage, which one of us is better off? Our loved ones have gone through the storm and they now are looking at the SON! They carried the cross and now they are witnessing the Resurrection!!
I had a dear friend who died a couple of months ago and it’s been a real struggle to let her go. Recently, after listening to my anger, fears, and doubts, a priest told me:
“What seemed like death for the caterpillar was life for the butterfly.”
I’d heard that saying before when my friend was still alive, and any saying whatsoever seemed sweet and inspiring. Some things are easy to believe until our faith is tested. I nodded at Father and said, “I know that.” Father looked at me and said,
“Then why are you standing there holding on to the empty cocoon?”
Our loved ones struggled through life like little caterpillars. Life was dangerous and difficult. Then their time of testing came – the darkness and confinement of the cocoon. And now, they have broken free and flown away! Heaven is full of beautiful butterflies who withstood the darkness and the test and are now rejoicing!
Letting go is never easy. All Souls’ Day is a beautiful day to remember all those who have gone before us – especially our loved ones. A Priest recently gave me a little card that had a poem on it: “Miss Me – But Let Me Go!” The words are hard, but true. Loving sometimes means that we must let go.
“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it’s yours. But, if it does not, it never was.”
It’s easy to think only of the pain we feel now. However, if we think of the pain our loved ones experienced before they flew away, it might be easier to let them go. They are at peace.
Loving doesn’t mean forgetting. True love never, ever dies. Holding on to the memories and the good times is embracing a treasure. Each friend and loved one that has left us behind is home and they are waiting for us.
Love lives forever, and Love will carry us home.
“For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.” Wisdom 3: 4-5