I had a annual ritual on my defunct blog about the Four Last Things of wishing my Mom a “Happy Birthday.” Today would have been her 102nd. The fact that she led and lived a full life doesn’t minimize her death. (“Well, Paul, she did live a long time.”)
Born January 20, 1916, she married my Dad on April 15, 1937 (before that became Income Tax Day here in the USA) and she passed away November 7, 2005. In between she served the Church in her capacity as a teacher’s aide and later secretary at the parish school. Oh, she also raised 5 kids. I was the fifth. Mom and Dad needed to practice on the first four before they got to having me.
Her death hit me rather hard, despite being expected. “Anticipatory grief” does not prepare you for the real thing. At least, it didn’t do so for me. Being treated like garbage by several members of my family (one in particular) did not help.
As usual, it is a day of melancholy for me. I miss her, but I also am grateful that my Catholic faith tells me that our relationship isn’t dead, just because she is gone from the world. I believe that she is in Heaven. Perhaps she is in Purgatory, but I feel she passed through quickly, as much as the passage of time has any meaning there. As a result, I feel as if I can still connect with her through prayer and the Mass. And I long for the day when we can be reunited. My usual disclaimer, I’m not being morbid or suicidal, I just long for the day when I can go Home.
Over the years I’ve tried to spiritually develop so that my yearnings for Heaven are proper, that is I desire to get to Heaven to be united with God and not just so that I am reunited with my lost loved ones and God just happens to be there, too. That takes God for granted and that Heaven is just a perpetual playground or wonderful endless happy family reunion with Christmas and Easter dinners and picnics all thrown together.
Yearn for the face of the beloved, and all else will fall into place, as well. Trust in God.
NOTE: This post was pieced together from several posts about my Mom’s birthday. Feelings of hurt and melancholy still remain.