Walking into our church this Sunday felt as it did the morning of Isabelle’s funeral. My husband and I were both quiet, consumed by the painful memories that surrounded that August day. A local friend had arranged for a number of Masses to be said for Isabelle. This particular Mass was an 8:30am Sunday morning Mass. I looked around at the pews full of people there to attend the otherwise normal Sunday morning service. Most were unaware of this particular Mass’s intention.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I too rarely pay attention to the Mass intention. When I do notice, I usually assume that it is for someone older who lived a happy and full life. The thought never crossed my mind that people of all ages die and regardless of their age, they usually leave behind a family that deeply misses them. I wondered how many Masses I sat consumed in my own selfish thoughts when a grieving family sat in the church mourning the loss of their loved one.
This morning, it was us who sat quietly in the front of the church, anticipating the sting that would come when we heard our beautiful daughter’s name read when they announced for whom the Mass was being said. We again relived the pain that was felt the day we said goodbye to our little girl. I know that our faith community was aware of our pain – that someone there was asking God to give us the strength and peace necessary to move forward. I know this because God responded in the first reading by reminding us that we should “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 The Word of the Lord – Thanks be to God!
I know that Isabelle would want us to be at peace, smiling, and moving forward. As I’ve said many times. The pain doesn’t go away, you just learn to live with the new crack in your heart. On tough days, I just try to remind myself of Isabelle’s Rainbows and ask her to pray for her parents. Lord knows that we need it! :)