On this date 20 years ago, my aunt died. It was the first time in my life that someone I loved and was close to passed away. First time experiences usually stick with us and this was no different. To this day I vividly remember most of the details starting with where I was when I heard the news. The Rosary service, funeral mass, interment, and reception can be played back with relative ease in my mind. Moments like the closing of the casket and riding in the black limousine of the funeral procession are also cemented internally.
Losing a loved one will acquaint you with the reality of death. As a kid, this lesson can be jolting and unsettling. But once you learn it, it will never leave you. This is why on January 12 I always reflect on my own earthly mortality just as much as I do on All Souls Day.
I mentioned that when we are children the concept of death can seem really scary. To be honest, this uneasiness doesn’t go away as we get older. Thankfully, the anxiety of death can at least be equalized and even trumped by trusting in what God has prepared for those who love him.
As we prepare for our own passing, let’s make sure to remember and pray for those who have already departed. Today I keep my Aunt Becky especially close in my heart and petitions. Don’t Blink.