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Friday, November 4, 2016

God’s Presence, His Gift Given When Souls Have Departed

All Souls’ Day (November 2) coincides with an annual period of remembrance for our family — the time between October 30 and November 7, when we lost our son to stillbirth and were allowed 179 hallowed hours with him before we said our final goodbye. It’s a time that will never be insignificant. Each year we get away to a quiet place to appropriately solemnify this precious period. And yet this is only the second time we’ve done it. His life, from conception to completion, took place within the year 2014.
Our hearts still ask heaven, why? A mystery contends with our understanding, and until we go to be with him we shall not know.
For all souls departed there is that mystery; but we can pray for them, thanking God for them, and how they graced our lives, however short (or cut short) their lives were. And we may also thank God for the paradoxical emotions in grief — God has visited us by His Presence in the very matters of the depths He has spoken into our souls. We have been graced sufficiently to know God at a deeper level because of our loss of Nathanael. This knowledge is His sacred trust to us that makes our trust in Him both a sacred and a trustworthy knowledge. Faith, from this aspect, is more amenable after grief.
So many of us have lost loved ones. Grief is a spiritual calamity that nobody is spared.
Death is a mystery, and for the souls of all those departed, we hold them lightly in the heart and on the mind; much more and it is too great a burden to bear. God touches us through our vulnerability; we cannot see beyond the curtain separating us from eternity.
We’re reminded:
Moments come and moments go,
yet all moments echo eternally.
We don’t realise until some moments are gone,
how indelibly precious they were.
Each moment with loved and dear ones is a precious gift from God, Himself. Each moment with each person in every situation. With everything available to us in life we must, with it, choose to live.
And for those who are gone, indeed for those we dearly miss, we can pray; we have a definitive connection with God in eternity because of them!
May God truly bless you with His Presence in your grief,
May He shine upon you His showers of goodness,
That, in His sacred trust, you’ll know Him more,
Until you too are called forth to join the souls departed.
Steve Wickham.

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