Saturday, April 3, 2021

Two Years Since Dad Went Home to God

On this day, as we waited for the silent Jesus in the tomb, wrapped in his shroud, we also marked the second anniversary of my father's death. It was a pretty Spring afternoon at the cemetery where Dad's body is buried. Three generations of Janaros came together there to visit his grave (including his great-granddaughter now nearly six months in her mother's womb).

Death remains real and mysterious. We are "separated" from people we love when they die. There is real suffering in this separation, even if - radically speaking - it's only "temporary." I don't think we should be surprised if we find it hard to "get over" the loss, or "put it behind us." 

Maybe we can't completely overcome grief. Maybe we're not meant to. 

Perhaps a portion of this sorrow is instead something we learn to endure, to bear for the remainder of our own lives: a sorrow which - in this world of space and time, bounderies and limits - corresponds to the love that goes beyond those limits in its need and in its giving.

A Catholic cemetery is designed to be peaceful for the living as well as the dead. Its quiet natural beauty and the crosses and memorials of its stones are conducive to reverence and recollection, to the solitude that reminds us of our greater destiny, and that evokes faith, hope, charity, and prayer for our loved ones who have gone before us.

Tomorrow we celebrate with joy our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our hope to rise with Him. Our hearts look forward in that hope toward the promise of a New Creation, praying that the God-who-is-Love will draw all of us to Himself, transform us as His sons and daughters, and bring us all together forever, with every tear wiped away.