After my father died, I felt an outpouring of support from all corners of the world, from family and friends, and people that I never knew would show up at the wake. It was a wonderful feeling to be loved and to be cared for. I am not used to it as I am usually the care-giver but as a friend pointed it out ... why not think of it as not being reminded of your loss but a reminder of how much you are cared for and loved? Very salient point indeed!
And then my mother tells me of her learning on "relationships of hope" and those that "encourages" from the Feast of Bo Sanchez.
Yes, relationships should always build up hope and encourage the people in it. Encourage in a good way to be good and loving and self-giving. I often hear that in the homilies of Fr. Tony at our church, John XXIII Parish. We must always be self-giving and be Christ-like to others. And at one of my lowest points in my life, I experienced that from the people that rallied to support me and my family at our moment of grief.
It was a loving ceremony ... we remembered my father and all his good qualities. We shared in the many good memories we had of him ... relatives, friends alike. It was a hopeful meeting. A hope that my father left in peace. He was smiling when I saw him. He looked at peace.
And I imagine what relationships of hope look like ... a big invisible web of love that wouldn't let anyone fall through the cracks of life. That even in the darkest moments, there are people to support you and to help you bounce back. And that web is supported by a greater web ... the web that is God. Because God is a God of Hope. And I'm happy that I had such a web to support me.
I would like to thank everyone for sharing in that hope. And I encourage everyone to build relationships of hope ... with the people that matter most and to strike up new relationships that continue to encourage and to build up hope ... because life is too short to despair.