Greetings from Rhode Island, the ocean state where I grew up.
I am gathered with extended family and friends, to gain strength, following my father’s funeral mass.
I wanted to share with you two reflections selected by my father that were shared during the reception. Both reflections offer words of comfort to those who are dying, to their caregivers, and to all who love them.
Blessings and love, and see you on Sunday,
Death is Nothing at All by Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.
Beattitudes for Caregivers
Blessed are those who care and who are not afraid to show it — they will let people know they are loved.
Blessed are those who are gentle and patient — they will help people to grow as the sun helps the buds to open and blossom.
Blessed are those who have the ability to listen — they will lighten many a burden.
Blessed are those who know how and when to let go — they will have the joy of seeing people find themselves.
Blessed are those who, when nothing can be done or said, do not walk away, but remain to provide a comforting and supportive presence — they will help the sufferer to bear the unbearable.
Blessed are those who recognize their own need to receive, and who receive with graciousness — they will be able to give all the better.
Blessed are those who give without hope of return — they will give people an experience of God. Amen