Blog by Geralyn Nathe-Evens
Catholic United Financial member Geralyn Nathe-Evans is a licensed nurse with a master’s degree in pastoral ministry. Through her education, career practice and suffering the death of her own husband in 2014, Nathe-Evans is a compassionate, optimistic voice finding the glory and comfort of God in our most trying moments. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Liturgical season of All Saints’ and All Souls’ has arrived. I personally have come to appreciate this part of our Catholic Church season especially these past years. I find it the perfect season to embrace all I have to learn about living into our baptism and death.
At the moment of our Baptism, we are baptized into new life in Christ that also recognizes we will die in Christ to live again. This is an incredible concept! I continue to be in awe of all that this means for my life…and my death.
We begin November by remembering and celebrating our heritage, our lineage found in our saints — the relatives in our Catholic family. We can rely on these holy men and women to pray with and for us. This is our own holy group who have gone before us, living faith-filled lives and many sacrificing earthly life for faith.
Many of the Saints we recognize are those that our Church has officially canonized. Then there are the group of people who, by living their lives, have inspired, touched and continue to hold a piece of our heart — the people whose lives have interfaced with ours and we are better for that blessing.
We also take this time to remember all the Souls of those who have died. In our parishes, we take the time to name our beloved who have died this past year, light a candle and support those that are grieving. We trust in their eternal salvation and a great reunion one day.
In the meanwhile, we journey through our lives without those beloved to us. I know this journey and pain well. My beloved soul mate, husband and my life’s great love, died. He was a wonderful friend, husband and the very best father God could have blessed our sons to have in their lives. He was a faithful and faith-filled man of God.
This time of year (for the fifth time since Dave has died), I realize how much more this season comes to mean in my life. I am exhausted from Dave’s death. I miss him, I miss who I am with him and I’m still learning to like the person I am without him. Grief permeates my life and the ripple effect of that grief touches those in my life.
I can through my personal experience realize more than ever the pain of people who have lost their loved ones. How much it can mean when someone speaks the name or shares a memory of our loved ones — to remember that they are not forgotten, that they are still in our mind and hearts. Even when their name is not spoken, they are still on our minds. We remember and celebrate them. We believe in the resurrection.
All Souls’ has become a great season to prompt us all to reach out in love and compassion to those who are mourning and missing their family and friends who have died. We can make a difference for those who are healing after the loss of loved ones. We can take the time to make a phone call to let them know we hold them in thought and prayer; to send that sympathy card that wasn’t sent at the time of death; to say their name; to share a memory; to remember.
I have come to embrace that these days of All Saints’ and All Souls’ are very much of memorial, for those who have died and for those who continue to journey in this life here on earth.