Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
Tonight we lost a beloved member of our family. Someone who loved so much that most everyone she met came away from the encounter changed for the better. How many people in our lifetime do we meet like this—one, two, a few if we’re lucky?
These people are angels placed here on earth to show us what it means to love with hearts so big and so roomy that we know we are home, whether we are near or far away. We are enveloped in the warmth and the security of unwavering affection and feel gratitude for a spiritual connection that surpasses temporal time. Long after these people pass, their love lives on—through their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, family, and everyone they met.
You will always be loved. Thank-you for the gift you gave to us—your heart. Your life touched us in ways where words fail and we are eternally grateful. Love you. You will always be our queen.
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.
~Chaplet of the Divine Mercy