It is the time of year in my Catholic faith where All Saints Day and All Souls Day approach on the calendar (All Saints Day is November 1st and All Souls Day is November 2nd for those who are unaware) when I begin to think about those that have gone to their rest from this life.
The souls of those who have gone before me have eternal life in my belief system. This was achieved by the Death of Jesus Our Lord and Savior, which provides all who believe in Him with eternal life and freedom from sin.
Our lives touch so many people from who we interact with at school, at work, in our neighborhoods, our families, and in our church/faith communities as well. I remember fondly, and I am inspired by those that have gone before me. I push myself every day to spread messages of hope and love in their honor.
I know that we all have that in common, we all have someone that we remember, we have all been touched by the loss of a friend, relative, colleague, or co-worker. Some have been impacted by the loss of someone in all those categories and others in just one or two; we all have experience with loss. We all have experience with what that can do within the human condition.
In my own experience, my faith helps me to move forward from loss because of the belief that the loved one or friend is in a much better place. However, the human emotions that grief and loss can cause are still profound. The simple reality that you will never see the person again in this life, will never have another conversation, that is a stark reality.
Those emotions usually come from another common human tendency to take things for granted. We tend to think that our lives will remain the same for the foreseeable future, until one day, usually suddenly, our lives change.
It is in this way that we need to be grateful and count our blessings, we need to be reminded that time is precious, and we need to take the time to enjoy each day as a gift. This change in outlook and being grateful for everything and everyone in our lives can dramatically shift your approach to every other aspect of your life.
The important way to remember those that have died and gone before us, is to take some component of that person and incorporate that into our own lives. The way that someone served the community, gave to those in need, took care of a family member, or made friends with strangers – these are just some examples of how we can make changes in our lives to honor those that have gone before us.
These changes can be very personal and can seem overwhelming, but they can be done incrementally. They can be done at your own pace. It is important to remember that we have to take the time each day to be thankful for what we have and for the people that we have present in our daily lives.
I hope that this helps so many people who will be entering the holidays thinking of those that have gone before us. I hope it provides a different outlook and perspective. I hope that you can all find ways to remember those that have gone before us from this life in your own daily interactions with others.