For My Fathers: R.I.P.

by SDG

in The Pope

I have not been blogging for the past few days, and may not resume for a few days more for reasons that will become apparent momentarily, but I did want to join the rest of St. Blog’s Parish in commenting — if briefly — on the passing of John Paul II.  Co-blogger, Tim Jones, recently posted asking commenters Where Were You? [when you heard of the Pope’s passing].  My answer:

I had just called a friend to inform her that my father had died about a half-hour previously after a long illness.  She exclaimed, "He and the Pope together?"  That’s when I found out that John Paul had died.  Later, I would learn that my dad had preceded the Pope by about twenty minutes.

In the months before my father’s death, from an illness which we had known for some time would be terminal, I found myself thinking it would be lovely that — when the time came — he might pass into eternity on a Carmelite feast day.  I have an interest in Carmelite spirituality, a love for St. Therese of Lisieux, and my mother passed away this past December on the feast of St. John of the Cross.  It did not look likely, though, since I could think of no upcoming Carmelite feasts and it appeared that my father would die soon.

Unsurprisingly, I underestimated God.  With the passing of John Paul II, God created a Carmelite feast for the day of my dad’s birth into eternity.  John Paul II was a third-order Carmelite who wrote a doctoral thesis on the spirituality of St. John of the Cross.  It is a great grace and comfort that both of my fathers, natural and spiritual, entered the next life together.

Dad, Holy Father: Requiescat In Pace.

Note:  For more on the incredible circumstances surrounding the date of John Paul’s death, please see this piece by Mark Shea.

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Gene Branaman April 6, 2005 at 1:51 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss, Michelle. I’ll add you, your father, & your family to my prayers.
God bless.

Ruthann April 6, 2005 at 2:17 pm

Michelle, it must give you great comfort to know that your father travelled his final journey in the company of a great man. You and your family are in my prayers.

Kathy April 6, 2005 at 3:07 pm

God Bless you, Michelle, and your family at this sad time. If you have a chance, listen to the Mercy Sunday homily by Father Bryce Sibley ( Your dad and the Holy Father died on a profoundly meaningful day.

Francis DS April 6, 2005 at 3:28 pm

Our condolences, Michelle on the loss of your parents a few months from each other. What an amazing story about the Carmelite feast.
How old were they?

Suzanne April 6, 2005 at 4:06 pm

We will keep you and your parents in our prayers.

JO April 6, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Dear Michelle,
I will pray for you and your Father. I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband is dying and it is very terrifying. For two years I have taken care of him. I have prayed for a miracle so mant times. I have been very blessed though because we have made more beautiful memories I will cherish in those 2 years we were together constantly. Now when I pray I ask God for a holy death and a happy death. It is still so hard because he is suffering so much. The Dr. in Nashville want hospice to come now. A part of me knows that is for the best. But, it is still very hard.
I pray that you will be comforted during this difficult time.

Mark Shea April 6, 2005 at 4:26 pm

I’m so sorry. May eternal light shine on both your Fathers.

Mary April 6, 2005 at 4:44 pm

Out of the depths I call to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, LORD, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered.
I wait with longing for the LORD, my soul waits for his word.
My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak,
let Israel look for the LORD, For with the LORD is kindness, with him is full redemption,
And God will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Francis DS April 6, 2005 at 7:16 pm

Speaking of coincidences, I just learned that there will be a lunar eclipse on Friday? Wasn’t JPII born during a lunar eclipse as well? (Sol Laborems)

Tim J. April 6, 2005 at 7:39 pm

Thank you for sharing with all of us your own “sorrowful mystery”. May you find comfort now in the Communion of Saints.
I lost my dad twenty years ago, but am very blessed to have my Mom and both in-laws still around.
I will offer prayers for the repose of both your parents.
Pax Christi-

Sal April 7, 2005 at 4:32 am

My condolences on the death of your parents. Your family will be in my prayers.May they rest in peace.

Michelle Arnold April 7, 2005 at 10:49 am

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and for your prayers. J.O., my prayers are also with you. God bless.

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