Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Diary of Elaine: Sunday, Complicated Sunday

Death in the family makes celebrating Christmas feel like a mockery

By Elaine Payne

few Sunday mornings ago, it started as a normal day.  My kids and I went to Mass, then went off to perform our "WalMart Devotions" while the youngest was in Faith Formation.  I stayed in the car while my two oldest went in, and noticed a call from my husband during Mass.  I called and asked what was going on, and he replied that his sister had died!  His kid sister, Sharon, a beautiful woman who had children, grandchildren, even a great grandson.  Had a devoted husband.  They are good people, not Catholic though, so we do have some major differences which we leave too God.

I wanted to wait until taking the kids to lunch, but just couldn't.  So I broke the news to Frankie, 23, and Elizabeth, 21.  They were so shocked and grieved.  We went on to the Church and Frankie got Terri out of class.

We picked up my husband and headed to the hospital emergency room.  They have some family gathering rooms, and we were able to see Sharon in the back.  Despite having a tube in her mouth, she looked so beautiful.  My husband, kids, and I were in there with Angie, Sharon's daughter, and Terry, her husband. The guard finally had to run us off!

My family and I shortly after went to visit my Dad, who's in his 80's and in frail health.  We are so thankful for him and treasure his presence in our lives.  We know we could lose him any time.

So in these last Advent days, it feels like a mockery to celebrate joy in Christmas.  Sharon died on Gaudete, or Rejoice Sunday, and I just can't do that right now.  Yes, I do know God is with us in our grief, but that's hard to process right now.

The funeral was held in a Baptist way, very nice.  The red and white roses on the casket made me think of the Blood and Water which gushed out of the Heart of Jesus, so I kept saying that prayer as well as the Eternal Rest prayer.  The procession to the grave site must have been a mile long, in the rain no less.  Right at school dismissal time LOL.

In the Spirit of Christmas, as we prepare, not everyone is having a Merry Christmas.  I want to lash out to the poor Salvation Army people who are just doing their jobs.  I am sharing our story because I know we're not the only ones having sadness at Christmas.  Let us cherish our blessings, especially our dear family friends, who are with us either on earth or in heaven


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