There are few things harder than losing a loved one. Losing someone on a special holiday is perhaps even worse. No one wants a day that is supposed to be filled with joy full instead with sadness and the gut-wrenching realization that a loved one will never again walk on Earth. No one wants to endure saying goodbye to family on days when you’re supposed to say hello to visiting loved ones. No one wants their Christmas Day to be their grandmother’s last day on Earth, but unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. We always, however, get what we need.
I lost my grandmother on Christmas Day this year. She had been sick for a while, and had already escaped death multiple times. I knew that she was probably not going to live much longer, but I never imagined that I would lose her on Christmas Day.
My morning started off earlier then expected, as my family was going to open presents around 9:00 a.m because we had gone to midnight Mass. Instead, my dad came in to my room around 7:00 to wake me up and told me that we were going to go visit my grandma later (she lives a couple hours away). After going through our normal Christmas routine, we got ready to leave for our visit. Just minutes before we were going to head out the door, my mom received a call from her brother. My grandmother had died. My entire family immediately broke down. I remember saying “We’re too late,” to which my father immediately responded that we weren’t too late, that my grandmother would be with me forever.
My father was right. It was very hard to lose my grandmother that day, but she got a very special Christmas present: eternal life with Jesus received on the day of His birth! Think of the party in heaven that day! My grandmother needed to be free of her pain and suffering on earth, so God fulfilled that for her.
Losing someone is hard, but it’s our selfish desire for them to be with us that makes us sad. We don’t want their time to end yet, for we still want to be with them. But God knows what He is doing. My grandmother no longer has to feel the pains and sufferings of the world. She received eternal life!
Some of you may be wondering how I know she went straight to heaven and bypassed purgatory. Well, my grandmother’s favorite color was purple. She loved purple. So I asked The Lord for a sign of something purple. I received several signs, including the following two. When opening presents at my other grandmother’s house later that day, my sister turned to me when she pulled a toothbrush out of her stocking and said simply, “It’s purple.” Later, I was looking at the new suitcase I got for Christmas. When I saw it Christmas morning it looked more pink than purple, but when I saw it the next morning it looked very purple. God gave me the signs I needed. These night seem like silly, simple things, but The Holy Spirit filled me with conviction and understanding so that I could recognize God’s signs.
It can take a while to actually come to turns with losing a loved one & deal with their death. The most important thing to do is pray. Pray for them to receive eternal life. Pray for peace. Pray for happiness. Also, don’t dwell on being sad for too long. Think of how your loved one would want you to act. Would they want you to be sad and mope around? I know for a fact that my grandmother would want me to continue to be happy, to go on with my life. So, that’s what I need to do. I need to pray and continue with my life, keeping the memory of her close in my heart.
So don’t dwell too long on the sadness of losing a loved one. Celebrate their life, pray for them to reach Heaven, & thank God for giving them eternal life. Live your life happily, and always praise God. Don’t forget that it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later, for we are all called to live holy lives that allow us to reach Heaven!