Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Of life, death and painful things...

Not exactly an uplifting post title, dear reader, but some days are just like that. And I'm once again delving into the news, it's been a painful stretch for that it seems. This will be just a short post, but it's something that is on my mind, as I'm sure it is on yours.

Last night, I picked up my phone during a quiet moment and opened up my Facebook app. The first post in my timeline related the news of Robin Williams' death. My sadness antennae immediately went up. Similar to all of you, I'm certain, I've lost count of the number of movies I've seen with Robin Williams gracing the screen. But as if to make it worse, I knew he couldn't be very old, so a quick Google search was in order. My age suspicions were immediately confirmed (only 63 years old), along with the horrifying news that the death was apparently a suicide.

Suicide. That word alone gives me the chills. My family went though a difficult time last year with the death of one of our own via suicide. I just re-read that post, and it brought back the memory of how cathartic it was to write it, and it's cathartic for me now to read it anew. The desperation that the person must feel to believe that this is the less painful way of dealing with things...I just can't even imagine that. And I suppose that's the point. We can't imagine what the person is thinking and feeling, and that leaves us feeling frustrated, hurt, and maybe even angry. This is normal, and we just have to wrestle our way through it as best we can. We wish that we could have helped, but in life there is no way to go back and have a re-do. Gosh, how many times I have dwelt on this little bit of wisdom! :) All we can do is pray, and hope that in the future, we'll get an opportunity to help someone else.

In times like these, I find so much solace in our Catholic faith. I opened my August issue of Magnificat this morning (feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, by the way ;-), patron of widows, parents separated from children, and against in-law problems, there's your interesting factoid of the day) and what do I see as a reflection on today's chosen Psalm for Morning Prayer?

"Make us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart. A human life may sometimes look too short to be worth much, but God, who sees the works of his hands from the perspective of enduring love, clothes even the passing wildflowers with splendor. We are only dust - but beloved dust."

Concluding Prayer: "O God of wisdom and of love, you have made us as fragile as the flowers of the field, yet you have made us strong in the hope of life everlasting. Teach us to see this day as gift enough, that we may live it for your glory and render it back to you in praise when evening falls, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen."

We always have so much to be grateful for, yes? Even in the midst of tragedy.


  1. Especially in the midst of tragedy. A beautiful reflection.

  2. Beautiful reflection thank you. :-)

  3. Thank you to you both. :) It feels good to share things and commiserate on a day like today, knowing that we are part of a much larger family. :)

  4. Feeling much the same. The sad news just keeps coming in, doesnt it? But I like that phrase about even a short life being special--- and being 'beloved dust' :)

  5. Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing them. I especially loved the timeliness of the prayer.


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