Last week as I was driving, I heard on the radio an old song with the lyrics “Never can say goodbye”. Although the lyrics of the rest of the song are a blur, those four words of the title made me think of how many times we as humans do say goodbye. The majority of our goodbyes are perfunctory, superficial, while other goodbyes are anything but perfunctory, often filled with pain manifesting in raw emotion. The latter is clearly the most difficult. When someone dies, whether without warning or expectedly, the spouse and/or family is left to mourn, not only the person who has passed, but also their life that they once knew, that has now been changed by loss forever. Although a widow/widower may have family around to support them in the initial phase of
their spouse’s passing, with time most people return to their lives never understanding or thinking about the lonely road the widow/widower or the children left now walk. Oftentimes one who mourns stands alone, filled with memories which seem both eons ago as well as feeling like yesterday. This is perhaps an enigma of the heart and mind. Our Catholic faith however, teaches us that our time here is transitory, and that our life on earth prepares us for eternity in heaven. Being without a partner or parent, whether by loss or choice, is often difficult, misunderstood and terribly painful. It is at that point that one must rely on their faith. Revelation 21:4 states that in heaven, “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain. The world of the past has gone.” With this in mind, one must remain hopeful for the future relying on the words of Jesus found in John 14:2 that states: “There are many rooms in my Father’s house”. In essence, the lyrics of the song on the radio may hold some truth, for saying goodbye infers a sense of finality, when in fact based on our belief of the promise of eternal life in one of the Father’s rooms, one never truly has to say goodbye, but believe that we will meet in heaven one day.
November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. We are called at this time to pray for our friends and loved ones who have passed on. They await our prayers and Masses and at the same time, they pray for us during our journey here on earth. I think it is important that as we are cognizant of those who have passed, we should be mindful of our friends and family struggling with loss and keep them all in our constant prayers.