Good afternoon, dear readers! I apologize for being a bit absent over the past week – in these summer months, there isn’t much down-time in our household! Between bringing kids to camp, playing countless games of Candy Land and Polly Pockets, and keeping a 2 year-old (who has taken a hiatus from napping this week, ahhh!) out of the endless supply of tasty treats that sits on our kitchen counter, I have not spent much time sitting at the computer.
Let me begin by saying that our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude for your prayers and encouragement over the past couple of weeks. Thank you for all of your comments – for sharing your personal stories, offering suggestions for healing, and responding with such kindness.
Over two weeks have passed since Annie Rose’s short life here on earth, and each day has been a little bit different for our family. We have had many meetings at the cemetery and funeral home – I was joking to a friend that my husband and I have had many “dates” at these two venues recently – and, praise God, most of the details are finally taken care of! We have been overwhelmed with the support and love of so many friends and family members, who have covered many of our emotional and physical needs over the past several weeks. The endless supply of treats on our counter comes from dear friends who have brought us delicious meals, and we have received many phone calls, cards, and messages of encouragement that remind us daily that we are not alone in our journey of grieving. We have shed tears, sometimes together and sometimes on our own, and have realized that crying is an integral part of healing. Most of all, we have tried our best to show our children that we are in this journey together as a family, and that there are many people who are going to help us along the way.
Many have told us that they don’t know if they could handle our situation as we have. They admire us, but don’t know if they could respond in the same way. I know how they feel – I have often thought this as I watch others navigate through their own impossible situations. I tell others that they would probably surprise themselves, that they would indeed possess the courage to respond in a loving way if God were to ask this of them. You see, here’s the thing: The veil between heaven and earth is so thin, and when we face suffering, Our Lord, Our Lady, and all of the angels and saints are closer to us than ever. Truly, I have come to see there is no greater reality than the communion that we have with the saints, both when we celebrate the Eucharist (see CCC 1370) and the other sacraments, and as we go about our daily lives.
At the moment of Annie’s birth, after a whirlwind delivery, my husband spoke the beautiful words “She’s here, Katrina, she’s here.” And in that moment, I knew that it was not only Annie who was there with us, but also Our Lord and his Mother, wrapping their arms around our family and preparing Annie to leave this world and enter into eternal life.
I miss my daughters every day, and I cannot wait until the day when we are all bending our knees together before our God: “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2: 10-11) Until that day, there is still much good work to be done here on earth, and I trust that the friendship and intercession of the saints will strengthen us every step of the way.