Friday, September 10, 2021

Christina Grimmie Remains a Great Help to Me in This Time

I haven't posted since June any particular "remembrance" of Christina Grimmie on the 10th day of the month, which has become a custom for me personally.

This does not mean that I have forgotten about her. Quite the contrary. This has been a time of great change and great sorrow for me, as my mother passed away on July 3 even as I continue to grieve for my father's death in 2019.

Both my parents have gone forward toward that fulfilling and definitive encounter with the Mystery. Even in the light of Jesus Christ — who reveals and communicates to us the healing, forgiving, and transforming love of the Mystery, who teaches us to call God "Our Father" by the grace of the Holy Spirit — we still walk by faith in this world and not by sight. Without the accessible presence of those we love most in this world, those who have guided us from our first footsteps, there is an unavoidable sense of sorrow and even a new sense of "loneliness." Even though they are "not far" from us, even though it is "only for a season," even as our hope in eternal life grows stronger, still it is difficult to walk this part of the human journey.

We are called to "lose ourselves" in order to find ourselves again in the Kingdom of God, in that inheritance which our Brother Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, offers us a share. It is a mysterious inheritance, beyond our limits in ways we can't imagine, but that we know are good. Life and death are mysterious, but ultimately they are the mystery of indestructible love.

Many who have gone before us — passing beyond the life of this world — still shine for us like lights, like stars that seem distant and yet can be surprisingly warm. They remain our friends who encourage us to persevere, and who wait for us to join them when our labors in this world are done. My parents are now among them, and I have an inkling of their nearness even in the midst of the "loneliness" of going on without them.

There are others whose witness continues to resonate, to reach people and help them to become stronger. The love through which they gave themselves in this life becomes in some way "greater" — as a very particular and personal affection that shares in the boundless love of the Heart of Jesus and in precisely this way (in Him) it becomes more than ever "theirs" personally, as they "find themselves" in Him who in His Resurrection is "the firstborn of many brothers and sisters."

I never met Christina Grimmie in this world. How is it that she is such an important sister in Christ, such a friend to me, such a source of hope and strength in the often-encroaching darkness that threatens us all in these recent years?

Why do I love her so much?

I have reflected upon this (here on this blog and elsewhere), but have hardly exhausted it. But I do love her, and have found her to be a constant friend. There is nothing esoteric or strange about this friendship. Rather, I think it has to do with what we call in the Apostles' Creed "the communion of saints."

And now, in these recent times, as I struggle with grief and loss such as I have never known before, Christina continues to shine on as a bright beautiful star who encourages me to go forward, to not be afraid to love.

Five years and three months after her own tragic death while opening her arms to "welcome a stranger" (as she had dedicated herself to doing every day, with her music and her life, for the glory of Christ) Christina Grimmie is more than ever a great inspiration and a great help to me.