From an e-mail I wrote today to a reader who commented that my “Journey Home” interview encouraged him as he mourns the loss of his daughter:
It says in Scripture, in more than one place, that love is stronger than death; love never dies. Several years ago, I began to contemplate what it means to say that love does not die. I am still contemplating it, as I love many people who have passed on. The truth is that whatever was true and beautiful and Godly in the love we share with another will always remain–on earth, as long as the love is in our hearts, and even more so in heaven. Love is what brings us to heaven–God’s love, returned by us–and love is always the love of a person (or Person). So your love for your daughter is not just floating out there somewhere; all the good and holy things you wished for her still remain and are still shared. The veil is only on your side, not on hers. She is more with you now than she ever could have been in life, because she, while remaining herself, is now one with Christ. In a strange but very real sense, you can touch her now in the Eucharist, and in the Holy Spirit, and in every thought you have that lifts up your heart towards the God whom she now sees face-to-face.
So you do want to think happier thoughts, because she is happy, and it is joy that will draw you closer to her now, even through tears.