Today I attend the funeral of my Aunt Ann, a very gentle and generous spirit, whom I will greatly miss. We didn’t speak often but she had the uncanny gift to remember previous conversations including people, names, and dates no matter when the conversation was had. She would look right in your eyes as you spoke, and was truly interested and concerned about your own concerns. We knew she had something wrong when one had to repeat something twice for her to remember.
Our family has buried three of the matriarchs married to the Huyten Brothers as they call themselves and the 3 brothers that came over from Holland in the 50’s. My husband is a son to the oldest Huyten brothers. It is sad to see a whole generation of family go so quickly together. A little history and a little culture is disappearing, too. We did not pick up their fluent Dutch and their habits are not ours anymore. Still I will miss their influence and their tastes.
It has been hard to watch the suffering as well. Yesterday while at prayer and in a simple thought, it occurred to me that death is not to fear as St. Pio would often remind us, but a life event to embrace. When watching a suffering family member, it is hard to love that thought, considering the pains witnessed and experiencing the grief of saying goodbye to a loved one. But I am reminded that it is the journey to the end to place my focus and to do all I can in accordance with a life lived for Christ. My journey is not over and the influence we have on others can be brief but powerful just as my dear aunt left on all of her friends and family.
The key is do we want to be remembered for good or for a good old boy kind of life as they say? I want to leave a good and lasting memory for my children and grandchildren and hope it leads them to desire that lasting home in which we were created.
I will miss Aunt Ann, but I look forward to the Resurrection where are lives continue in joy and unending peace.
God have mercy on her soul and on all the souls of the faithful departed!