The liturgical year is drawing to a close and it’s been one of the most difficult years that I have. It’s been filled with tragedies of the passing of loved ones who are dear to me. The topic of death is something that I find hard to comprehend because the void is hard to fill as it takes time and acceptance.
This week’ gospel coincidentally speaks about death and the end times- or apocalypse. Jesus said to his disciples:“In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.”And then they will see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds” with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky”(Mark 13:24-32).
I have been praying immensely this past week and rushing to see my uncle who despite all the odds stacked against him, chose to fight on till the very end. I asked the saints and mother Mary for their intercession to heal him. Rather my prayers were answered in another way which was the assurance and comfort that I felt in my heart that it is in the will of God when I prayed.
Facing death is a complex predicament as it breaks your heart to see the person suffering, being hooked up to machines, and yet the person continues to fight on. On the other hand, one would feel that it is better for God to take the person home to relief him of his sufferings. However, a small part of us still want our loved one to be around even if it’s just for one more day.
I think God gave my family and I time, time to be prepared as nothing is permanent and ever-lasting except the promises made by God which is eternal life in heaven. Time on earth is temporary as we humans are finite and every second counts. Every decision and effort made to increase family time has also kept me closer to my family but I know that one day, I will have to go through this route; only I do not know when that will be.
The only tangible aspect that a person can leave behind would be memories and photographs to help us remember the person by. These serve as the only source of comfort and coping mechanism which is to support one another in this dark and difficult time.
I have come to know that God decides what is best for us and dark days do not last forever, but it is up to us to keep ourselves occupied and find the new strength to envision new and brighter days ahead.
As we come to terms with our loss, may we always continue to pray for all our dearly departed loved ones that they may find peace and comfort in the joys of the heavenly kingdom and treasure that God has prepared for them. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong