Dearly Departed: What I Learned About Living from the Dying

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Furthermore, the parish celebrated Mass in the cemetery on All Souls Day.

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His grandson passed away in at the age of 20 while serving on active duty in the military. He and his wife, Irene, see these Masses as an important way to remember their grandson and consider it a way to give back to their community. Oftentimes, parishes mail personal invitations to those who have lost loved ones within the last year. Names of the deceased are announced during the service, and those living family members light a candle in memory of their loved one.


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Special prayers and Scripture readings are also recited. She and her husband lost their year-old son David in a tragic car accident in Roach believes this service helps people better cope with loss. Roach added that the Service of Light helps those grieving live as a new person.


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The power of prayer and symbolisms of Christ are just overwhelming. On Oct. Good Shepherd parishioner Anicetus Fernando is happy his parish celebrated Mass outdoor this year. He said he felt as if he were in the presence of the communion of saints.

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Praying for the deceased is also tradition for St. Thomas Aquinas parishioner Theresa Switzer lost her husband in late November She said she finds comfort in the traditions pastor Father Tom Kennedy offers their parish.

Mary Klufa, also a parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas, said she understands that it is a Christian duty to pray for the deceased. It is important that we pray for the deceased because not all souls enter heaven right away, she added.

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Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Previous Next. See larger image. Key Topics: How did Bronnie Ware start working with the dying? Who was Ruth and what can we learn from her?

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How can facing death help shift our priorities? How does facing death help shift us from our ego to our heart? What does surrender really mean? What can we learn from Grace and what did she make Bronnie promise? What does it mean from Tony Robbins we do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure?

After learning life lessons from the dying, what does success really mean? Or you can come over here with me. It has to stop. Tears well up at the corners of her eyes.

The Museum of the Dearly Departed

Up in the unseen tree branches, a whippoorwill begins to call—a sad, pitiful racket. This must be the last time. You cannot properly live if part of you is still clinging to death. She is no longer trembling with cold, fear, or sorrow. The morning mist is growing thin, the etched writing on the headstones almost becoming legible now.

Gray somber sunlight breaks through the mesh fence line at the other end of the cemetery. Warm air whistles through the graveyard, leaving behind the scent of freshly cut grass and cold mossy stone. Valerie puts her arm around Maddie and squeezes. Maddie wipes her nose, but offers no argument. Sunlight is strengthening in the east and, with it, pulling the light away from their father. The outline of his shoulders and face slowly dim. Valerie thinks her father will be saddened by their decision and is surprised to see him smiling.

His shoulders shudder as he makes tiny choking noises. No tears come though. Before he fades completely away, he wraps his arms around both of them.

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