…Now, I am sure this comes as ZERO surprise to everyone that I see A LOT of death. I see more departures and deaths than any 100 people you can name. To put a number to it: I have seen over 9,000+ departures in just the last 6 years alone. I have prayed for them, comforted the family and friends (in what simple way I could) and saw them through the heartache and pain of loss.

If you want something done, and done RIGHT, then you call a Pro….for example: If you want a new drain then you call a plumber, and you trust his words and advice…if you want your taxes done, you go to an accountant, and you trust him to do what he can to get you maximum results for your dollar….well…same thing, if you want advice about the departed, then you go to a Cleric.

I see, and have seen with my own eyes, EVERY stage of death known to mankind…period… so, in effect, you can call me a PROFESSIONAL in this arena.

The point I am making is this: There truly are NO words in the human language that can assuage a person’s grief, or sorrow…nope…none. The best we can do is have FAITH…faith covers a LOT…believe me.

Now then, back to what I was saying….*Ahem*… I have seen much.  One thing I have noticed is everyone gets sad…and rightly so…but here is the BIG difference…they are sorrowful FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS.

Hear me out.

YES, the loss of a loved one IS a huge tear in the human soul and heart. YES, the pain of loss is a VERY overwhelming thing…BUT…if you have FAITH…if you BELIEVE…then it should come as ZERO surprise that they ARE gone. I often say “If you must weep, then weep for those of us who must take the SLOW path.”…for the person departed has left ALL the woes of our world behind.

Your life…yes, YOUR life…is a PAGE TURNER…a NOVEL of great worth. The thing we must remember is that while the first page, and the last page, are ALREADY WRITTEN…yes, your birth and death…the entire story in between those pages is YOUR’S TO WRITE.  With each day you write pages into this book. We never know when Our Heavenly Father will close the book and remove the pen from our hands, and so it is of GREAT importance that we LIVE life….not wallow for years and years, wasting pages on sorrows of days gone by. 

When a person departs, that is the closing of a chapter of our lives. We, if we have faith, KNOW where the person has gone..we know WITH WHOM the person now resides….so why wallow? Why wail and moan? 

I am not saying “Don’t be sad”…OF COURSE you have EVERY right to be sad…but there is a BIG difference between sorrow, and wallowing in that sorrow for WAY too long.

I am by no means a stranger in this…for I have faith, and have lost MANY in my life. Some see only a handful of deaths in their life…I mean FIRST HAND deaths…I have seen HUNDREDS.

When someone I love departs, SURE I get sad…sure I weep…but then the realization of where they have gone, why they have gone, and with Whom they are with now, and my heart may still ache, but I REJOICE that they have attained that which I someday too hope to attain.

I know that if I stay strong in my faith, keep plodding along the path chosen for me, and keep my resolve, then I will one day see ALL of those I said ‘goodbye’ to in THIS life.

Death IS sad…but I REJOICE in the happiness they now are filled with. They no longer will get sick…no longer are in days of endless pain…no longer have that kink in their leg that acts up when it rains…no longer have hunger, or thirst, or sorrow…they are BEYOND that.

Think about it. 

When someone dies from Cancer, yes, it is a sad thing…but think about them WITHOUT the pain…WITHOUT that haunted look of fear in their eyes.  SEE them as they WERE, not as they were when they left us….young…strong…healthy…doesn’t that strike HOPE into your very soul?!?!?

If you must be sad, be sad for those left behind…for it could be DECADES before we see them again.

Being a cleric gives me a certain perspective…yes, somewhat rose colored, but STILL. I was not always a cleric, I too lost and lamented. I too used to question where they were, what happened to them, will I ever see them again…but after becoming a cleric I REALIZED the TRUTH of it. ALL of my questions were answered.

If our love was strong HERE, imagine how much stronger it will be THERE. They are up there, eating their favorite foods, happily embracing THEIR departed loved ones…all of their companions are no longer sick, or infirm… see??? SEE how that lifts the heart?

Faith is a POWERFUL thing…and when we mourn for too long, or wallow in the tears for long times, then we slip in our faith. Sorrow is one of the WICKEDEST tools ‘The Other Guy’ uses to draw us away from our faith…we question God’s existence, some even go so far as to LEAVE God because “He took them from me” (Yes, I hear that A LOT)…or they abandon their faith because they are no longer sure even if there IS ‘Heaven’….take it from me, a person with faith no bigger than a mustard seed, IT DOES EXIST!

HE exists!


“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” -John 15:7
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us” – 1 John 5:14

THAT is why we pray for those departed….because want to see them again…we want to be a part of what THEY are a part of. We want to be where THEY are now….

Your life is a novel…written by the Hand of God..YOU fill in the dialog…YOU fill in the adventure…YOU fill in the location and story plot…but in the end, the ending will ALWAYS be the same as EVERYONE ELSE….will it be a page turner? Will it be a romance? Will it be a mystery? Or will it be a SELF HELP book OTHERS can look at and say “They REALLY LIVED…I hope I can do as they did”? One that gives strength to those WE leave behind…sort of a field manual of HOW to live when we are gone.

Faith gives us the promise…HOPE gives us the location…and you, well, YOU provide the words to this best selling novel. It will be read, edited, and reviewed by ONE being…God. 

Will He get halfway through it and say “Well, they gave up”..? Or would you rather have it say “WOW…they really had an ADVENTURE…filled with sorrows overcome, love, excitement, and FAITH..I HAVE TO MEET THE AUTHOR!”.

Put it this way: If you bought a book, and read the first half of it and then in the story the hero just gives up and does not DO anything more….would YOU read it? Would you even BUY, let alone READ, such a novel? Nope….you would just keep going, looking through the stacks until you found one that RINGS to you.

I look forward to seeing His review of MY novel….(and yes, I TOO am worried He may think it is not that interesting)…but you know what? I WILL KEEP GOING UNTIL HE CLOSES THE LAST CHAPTER.

Stay strong, stay faithful, and above all…KEEP WRITING YOUR NOVEL.

Fra. Jeff.


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