SIX MONTHS INTO WIDOWHOOD
Many of you have asked me, “How are you doing?” or, “Are you doing ok?” and the honest answer is “Yes, I am doing fine.” Waking up each day I remember that Wayne is now living in Heaven with Jesus and the Blessed Mother, whom he loved so much, and I think about how happy he must be. So, with enthusiasm, I leap into my day determined to follow Christ as best I can so that one day I can be in Heaven too.
I really don’t feel as if Wayne has died. I feel like he is living some else now, which of course he is, living on somewhere new, beyond my reach, that is incredible and wonderful and filled with the love and peace that can only come from God. Frequently, I have joked with friends that if someone in Heaven came up to Wayne and asked him about me, Judi, He would reply, “Judi who?” As soon as he saw Jesus and Mary, he was so overwhelmed with love that I imagine he forgot all about everything and everyone that he had ever known before!
The profound joy I have in knowing Wayne is with the Lord does not mean that nostalgia and sadness haven’t washed over me as they have. When I am somewhere Wayne and I have visited together, the memories come flooding back, just as they did a few days ago at the local golf club. We had been to the club on many occasions, as Wayne was an avid golfer. We had a lot of good times together there and I sadly realize we will not have anymore. I carry those special memories in my heart as I smile and reminisce. Going to Medjugorje last July was also very hard. The joy of being in Medjugorje was combined with the sadness of seeing Wayne around every corner and in every situation. He was so happy in Medjugorje, I would love to have one more day with him in Medjugorje. Yet I accept that Wayne was eighty years old when he died and he got quite sick towards the end so it wasn’t completed unexpected that he died and moved in Heaven. Nevertheless it is still difficult to lose someone you care about. I cannot imagine how much harder it would be to lose a young person; perhaps a child, that grief would be unbearable. In Wayne’s case, Jesus was ready to take him, it was his time and I believe Wayne was ready to go and start his mission from heaven.
The most profound gifts I have received after Wayne passed away were Mass cards. People were so kind and had an astounding number of Masses said for him. Masses said for a person after they have died is the most assured way of helping a loved one into heaven. Well, I received dozens of Mass cards for Wayne. Thank you! I know all those Masses carried him through the gates.
Living through this experience has made me more aware of my own immortality and the need to work each day on my own faith journey towards Jesus and eternal life. I have become more dedicated in my daily consecrations to Jesus and his Blessed Mother and each day, I ask Our Lady to lead me in holiness and purity. I have become more vigilant in making a good Act of Contrition and going to confession at least once a month.
What advice do I have for others who are newly grieving? Keep your heart fixed on the goal – eternal life! We are all created to live in heaven not on earth. Be filled with joy that your loved one is with the Lord experiencing unimaginable love and peace and embrace your journey there with more dedication than ever.