One book that I read every now and then is entitled Praying Our Goodbyes, written by Sr. Joyce Rupp. She said that since life is passing and fleeting and nothing is permanent, it is a series of hellos and goodbyes. Hence in all our relationships, there is a time for hello and a time for goodbye. In discussing goodbyes, man has experienced that the greater the love, the more difficult the goodbye. When the goodbye is difficult, grief becomes a reality.
David Kessler and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross are two persons that worked with those who are dying. Based on their experience, they came up with the Five Stages of Grief.
- Denial (Pagtanggi) – “He is not dead; he is just sleeping.”
- Anger (Galit) – “Lord, why him, he is not bad. Look around, there are bad people. Why not them?”
- Bargaining (Tawad) – “Lord, bring him back to life and I will do this and I will do that.”
- Depression – “What is the meaning of life? How do I move on?”
- Acceptance (Pagtanggap) – “Yes, the one I love has already departed.”
While today is very important because we remember the Saints, tomorrow is just as important because we pray for our departed loved ones. It is a reminder to reflect on our lives as we continue to journey here on earth. Let us reflect on the readings:
- “The souls of the just are the in hands of God.” While none of us live perfect lives, we must remember the words of Christ, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”
- We are constantly reminded why we should do good. “If we have died with Christ, we shall live with him.” In other words, there is Life Eternal. With Life Eternal, we are reminded what is important and what is fleeting; what is essential and what is passing.
- In the Gospel we are told that the Lord will do everything and anything for our salvation. While it truly a blessing to die in a state of grace, we know that it is not possible for all. Hence we are reminded that the Lord sees our hearts and that He is a merciful and compassionate judge.
In each mass, let us remember:
- We thank God for all our loved ones who passed away. They have and will always be a part of our lives.
- We pray that the Lord may give them eternal peace and rest.
- We, who are still here, pray that we may live out the gospel values. May we be reminded that we are only passing by and there is life eternal.