“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
Pope Paul VI quotes (Italian Pope. 1897-1978)
I’ve had too many encounters with death in the past few months. We started with a good friend’s father, then my dad and now more.
After church yesterday, I logged into my computer and started up Facebook. While scanning the silly games and quick updates of friends and friends of friends, I came across the saddest entry:
Eternal rest grant unto Patrick, oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. Patrick J**** W******. July 16, 1985 - October 24, 2010.
I completely broke down. After the Saturday I had, it was hard to take the news. This was a friend of mine from college, someone with whom I had acted, with whom I had built sets and someone who really WAS the SLU community.
I was amazed by all the people on my Facebook page who have been posting on his page, remembering moments they had with Patrick and offering up prayers for him and his family. He was truly loved by so many people.
Apparently, he was diagnosed with lung cancer (we think) a few weeks ago. As in, September. His dad posted a few days ago about him in the ICU and what all was going on.
And then yesterday morning around 11 am, his dad posted that entry above. I was speechless. I had no idea what to write on his page or say to our friends. How can someone who is 25 years old die…cease to be with us on this Earth.. be taken to Heaven so soon?
It’s so hard to understand the will of God.
I have to keep remembering what my mother told me when I called her for some clarity after I found out. She said that if truly believe what we do – that there is an Eternal Reward after death, that Heaven awaits us – then we must not grieve for the dead, but grieve for ourselves, because we are not in Heaven yet. We are here on Earth, yet they are in Paradise and peace.
Patrick has no more pain from that cancer, he will hurt no more.
Bless him and his family and may he rest in peace.