all holy men and women...pray for us...

Yesterday was the Feast of All Saints, a Solemnity (a high holy day) in the Catholic Church. It's a day set aside to honor the Communion of Saints, those holy men and women who have gone before us having attained heaven through the witness and examples of their lives lived for Christ. 

Today is the Feast of All Souls which is where we honor the dead, especially those in our own families who have died. During Mass today and yesterday, I just kept imagining my Courtney praising God, every moment of every day, feeling nothing but pure joy. 

PURE JOY...ALL the time...

Courtney - October 2014

She has been on my mind and heart quite a bit lately. I thought it was just the fact that we are getting close to the second anniversary of her death. However, I realized today that's not the only reason. 

I have stayed very, very busy for the last year and a half. So busy that I would usually fall into bed at night exhausted and then get back up and at it early the next day. Not a lot of brain space available for grief or thinking deep thoughts in general. 

Now I am home, writing about my life with Courtney, giving talks about the dignity of life and the lessons she taught me and it's proving to be cathartic but also bringing ALL the big feels to the surface. It's not tears all the time praise God. There is laughter, deep love and tremendous gratitude for the gift of who our daughter was to us and those who knew of her. 

It makes me appreciate even more the ebb and flow of the church year. The beauty of Allhallowtide, of beginnings and endings, giving a purpose to the suffering of this mother. The fact that death has no sting, no power over any Christian, because we were made for eternity with God. 

None of this makes being without Courtney one bit easier for this Mama and my empty arms and broken heart, but it does give some clarity to my grief. It helps me to pull myself out of the pit that would swallow me completely any given day if I gave into the anguish and sadness.

I am grateful for the truth of my Catholic faith, for the gift of sacred tradition and sacred scripture and for the beauty of  Mass. It is where heaven meets earth and the one place I am closest to my daughter who has gone before me. 

That veil between heaven and earth is so thin, yet it cannot be traversed. I am forced to wait, with great longing, for the day when I will see her again and hold her in my arms again. It's a hard waiting but I don't get to make those decisions. God does. 

Courtney and her Daddy - November 2014
I trust him with all I am and all I have, including my life, my husband and children. After all He gave them to me, so they are His to do with as He pleases. This is extremely difficult for me a mere human, filled with sin. I take it day by day and it's been almost two years since I last held her in my arms. 

It doesn't get any easier like people say. The grief becomes a part of you, like breathing. You don't think about it, you just do it. Then there comes a time when it becomes difficult and you use all your energy to just take the next breath. 

This is all part of life, loving unconditionally and letting go. The Blessed Mother did it, so now it's my turn. Through her intercession, I will do what God needs me to do. I will fall and when I do, I will get back up again and try harder. 

My daughter taught me that. 

Life it to be lived, one prayer at a time. 

All holy men and women...pray for us...

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