We've all experienced loss to some degree, especially this year. We've lost many of the activities and distractions that the pre-Covid world had to offer. Some of us have even lost our loved ones. Loss is part of life, but for believers it doesn't spell the end. Loss of things can bring detachment and appreciation for blessings. Loss of people we love can bring us face to face with our own mortality, and even closer to God.
Today I want to share some major losses I've had in my life not to bring you down, but to affirm that very hope that spares us from the chasm of despair. Without it, everything is giant waste; a big joke and we're the punchline, frankly.
I lost my mom in 2011, to alcoholism. It's hard to write that, and I thought about leaving it out, but I think it's important. She was my best friend and primary confidant. Losing her was something I had been fearing for years before it actually happened because of her disease. The hopeful part? My mom wasn't Catholic, but her favorite image was the Divine Mercy. She proudly displayed it in her home. I've prayed so hard for her all these years before and after losing her, and the answer that I continue to receive is "trust." Jesus, I trust in you!
The second major loss was my son Matthias in 2013. He was diagnosed with Potter's Syndrome during my anatomy scan at 18 weeks. Carrying him in my womb to term was the hardest thing I've ever done. I feared he wouldn't be born alive, and I feared for my own life as complications arose during the pregnancy that put me in and out of the hospital. They told me my son wouldn't be able to cry when he was born, but he did – three times. The nurses on the floor told the chaplain they didn't understand why I would carry this baby to term, but I knew. His life was so sacred. God carried both of us the entire way. I am privileged to be his mom. He touched people deeply in his brief time on earth. I could only hope to do the same.
We are people of hope. We know that the tragedy of loss doesn't have the final say. Had I not had the outpouring of God's grace during these losses, I fear I would've gone mad. He cares for us. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.
We remember this month and next in a special way, our mortality and the loss of our loved ones. It's not to be morbid or to make us depressed. It's a compass for our lives and a purpose for our prayers. Let's pray today for our beloved dead. Let's also pray today for a happy death when our time comes.
Prayer for a happy death to St. Joseph –
O Blessed Joseph, who yielded up thy last breath in the arms of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me this grace, O holy Joseph, that I may breathe forth my soul in praise, saying in spirit, if I am unable to do so in words: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give Thee my heart and my soul.”
Please share in the comments below whatever the Spirit prompts!
God loves you,
I love you even more.