"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. But they are in peace."
This reading, on the Feast of All Souls, never ceases to comfort me. Losing loved ones and friends is terribly hard and you don't reach this age without experiencing it. But actually being with someone as they pass from one life to the next can be illuminating. The passage can be so gentle; just the difference between one breath and the absence of another one...peace-filled and gentle. Seeing that certainly can give us a peaceful image of death, but it isn't always the case, unfortunately. My dad, for example, struggled so as he inched toward death, it was too difficult for my mom and I to watch. Dying isn't always peaceful, but death is. Today, as we remember our dear loved ones who are rejoicing on the other side, let's remember those who struggle in dying as well as those who struggle in life. Peace, the peace of God, is what we all long for and, ultimately, will rejoice in. For all of us on the journey, let us pray...Love, heidi