I think it would be nice if we ‘went to visit her’ tomorrow. We haven’t been back to her grave site since the funeral. I know it will be difficult, but I think it’s time. Just thinking about it brings tears. I use to think the tears could be controlled with a little ‘mind over matter’ brain power, but I’ve long since discarded that theory. They come when they come and they give NO notice. Darn things.
Today as I was sitting at my desk, my mind went where it always goes no matter what else I’m doing – thinking about Bernadette and where she is now and what she’s doing. It finally dawned on me why, even though I know she’s happy, why it drives me to tears – it’s just the thought of her being somewhere without me and me not being there to protect her. She was always so shy and needed to cling to my leg or behind my back, especially when we walked into church. So to me her going into heaven is like walking into church and I’m not there to protect her from those people she’s afraid of. I can’t imagine there being anyone in heaven to be afraid of, but then again there wasn’t anyone to fear at church either! So is she still painfully shy in heaven? I sure wish I knew. Not that I can do anything about it, I can’t protect her now, as much as I wish with all my heart that I could.
Today the Kurz family dropped off a wonderful collection of books for Zoe and as I was unpacking them, with Zoe right there at my feet, I caught myself thinking: oh Bernadette will be so thrilled, these will be perfect to help her learn to read. It’s amazing how, even though we’ve had five weeks to get use to the idea that Bernadette is no longer with us, I still think of her as being here. She’s so much a part of who we are that it is still so difficult to grasp the reality that she’s not going to come skipping up the stairs any minute and ask us what we’re doing.
I also caught myself arguing with God. “Why did You have to take her home so soon? What was so important? What was the big rush? You gave her to us to take care of for You, were we doing such a lousy job or something? I mean seriously, what was so wrong with her staying with us for another fifty or seventy five years????????” I find it interesting how to me this is such a spiritual matter now and any ‘help’ on grieving that does not include the spiritual dimension isn’t very helpful. That thought propelled me to hunt for a book on grieving from the Catholic perspective and it didn’t take me long to find “Grieving with the Help of Your Catholic Faith” by Lorene Hanley Duquin. I’m very much looking forward to reading it and seeing if it can’t shed some light on my many questions. Obviously it won’t be able to answer the most important question of “Why?” but it might be of some help. I hope somewhere in it’s pages it gives me permission to be mad at God and it addresses God’s will with regards to illness and death – especially in children.
I am praying for you all today!
Fr. David Purcell
When you wake up on Bernadette’s birthday enjoy it. Think all of the happy moments that you all got to share and have all family keep the happy moments there also. Your little shy girl will be smiling and thanking you all.
I would absolutely love Bernadetts favorite dinner, all except you could have both fruit and vegetables on my plate!
I recently heard or read that God’s shoulders are broad and He can handle your being mad at Him. It is also part of grieving so continue to talk or yell at Him if you need to.
Hugs and prayers from our family