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This past weekend was my Grandfather's funeral.  We packed up the van and headed to NY Friday morning and arrived in the evening in time for the wake at the funeral home.  I am glad we made it in time.  It was so good to see so may family members that I had not seen in years. 

Saturday morning I woke up and got the family ready for the funeral.  I miscalculated the time it would take us to get the funeral home and, we, of course were late!  Then we headed to the church.  As the mass began, I was overcome with a great deal of peace.  Over the last week, I have realized, more than ever, that there is no reason to fear death.  I knew that all along, but I was struck by it even more so over this weekend.  In death, we are reunited with Christ.  As we spend our days here on earth, that is what our soul really longs for.  Our soul longs for the day we are reunited with HIM and get to spend eternity with HIM in heaven.  Any earthy death is not to be feared, or really something to be sad over.  We are to rejoice for those who have gone before us to truly be HOME.

At one point during the mass, A began to sing (and no one else was).  There were so few children at the mass, that his singing could be heard by everyone there.  I walked him out of the church and into the hallway and let him run around.  Standing in the hall, I watched A run up and down the hall joyfully, light streaming in on him from the windows that lined the hall, as my Grandfather's soul was being committed back to God in the church; a soul that was really HIS 94 years ago,on the day of his baptism. And, as I was standing there, watching A run and smile, and hearing the funeral mass, I was struck:  life is full of many hardships, many trials, pains, beginnings and endings, as I am sure my grandfather could have attested.  But there is so much JOY around, as the smile on A's face could attest.  The joy, HIS gifts to us are all around.  We just need to look. 

I knew I could foucs on one of two things that day: (1) The sorrow at the loss of my grandfather or (2) The joy of knowing that he "ran the race"; that he was a sinner, yes, we all are, but that my grandfather was also a good and faithful servant and that my grandfather is now where we all long to be. And the joy of being surrounded by family. 

It is truly a matter of perspective. There is Joy everywhere.  And I pray that I may have the eyes to see it, even at the hardest moments.


  1. Your reflection gave me chills... Thanks Katie...

  2. Deo gratias! may you continue to be open to His joy.

    we will be praying for the repose of your grandfather's soul.

    pax Christi - lena

  3. Honestly I'm still afraid to die. When I think about it it catches my breath..

  4. I love that you said your grandpa "ran the race" on the day you were supposed to be running yours. Very poetic :)

  5. Beautiful post. Your reference to running the race reminds me of 1 Corinthians 9:24 where Paul reminds us "Run in such a way as to get the prize."

  6. Great reflection Katie! We can learn so much from our children. I was happy to see your blog title as Joy after knowing that you had such a hard week.

  7. Beautifully written and so very true.


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