When a Friend Dies

13 Apr

Reaching Up

In times of sorrow or confusion, our souls seek the wisdom, strength

and comfort of our Lord and God.

It was expected. Jim had been ill for a long time. He had suffered a lot. Ginny, his wife, was with him 24-7 for many months. His friends came to visit, to pray, to sit in silent communion.

Still, when he breathed his last, there was a crushing sorrow, a great sense of loss. Yes, we believe in everlasting life—but death is unwelcome. We cringe from death. It’s not supposed to be. And, happily, we know it is not the end.

Jim was a tremendous Christian, a man of the Word, a man whose faith led him to many years of ministry to the sick and dying at Hospice.  He was involved in two men’s Bible studies—one Catholic and one interfaith. He was gentle and spoke with care and compassion. He was interested in what other people were feeling and experiencing.

His faith came as a great gift.

One evening at our parish church, Jim was asked to share the story of how he came to know the Lord so intimately. You could have heard a pin drop. You see, by his own admission, he had not been so lily-white in earlier years.

But then, he met Ginny, the woman who was to become his wife. Her faith inspired him. He embraced his Catholic faith. They were so deeply in love with one another and with the Lord.

What gives us hope in moments like these? Love can never die. “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn 8), and, “God is love and he who remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16).

Jim’s love remains with us and our love with him.

Isn’t that what we mean by the “communion of saints?”  It is all about God’s love. It’s about God who first loved us so that we could know love and love in return.

It’s all about love.

Love can never die.

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4 Responses to “When a Friend Dies”

  1. bertghezzi April 13, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    thanks for remembering Jim

  2. Henry Libersat April 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    He is very hard to forget.

  3. Frank Szachta April 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Dear Henry: You are so correct. It is hard to forget friends. I have started daily mass & communion in past 2-3 months and it has brought deep happiness and good memories of my spouse of 61 plus years that died last June. Jesus and his mother Mary are helpful friends to have, for sure. Sincerely, your Frank Szachta from Cabrini retreat..Bless you..

    • Henry Libersat April 18, 2014 at 2:44 am #

      Dear Frank,

      How good to hear from you. I know you folks have been praying for Jim. Thanks for that.

      Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit you folks again.

      Henry

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