“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.” (C S Lewis)
This is the post I never wanted to write. Having written these posts: Please? and Joy Has Come, I knew I’d committed to writing the necessary follow up. What that follow up would be was known only to God. He has carried out His will. Amy died on Friday night, January 1st after slipping into a coma for a brief time.
I hadn’t seen Amy since June but from the bits shared with me by others, it was easy to piece together an image of her last weeks here. It is an image of faith and constancy that has repeatedly brought me to tears, challenging me to believe there truly is nothing that can, of its own force, separate us from the love and joy of Christ. As her brain was finishing its work on this earth, Amy’s mind was caught up in anticipation of eternal life. Her ability to communicate was dwindling, yet she repeatedly took up the topic of her Lord. She spoke of Him, she spoke to Him. She worshipped Him. She prayed to Him. She witnessed His miraculous presence in the Eucharist. I have a feeling that when she couldn’t communicate much else, Amy still managed to communicate her joy to her family. She looked forward to her true country, her home prepared tenderly for her by the Lord.
There are some beauties that overwhelm. They are almost painful to endure for you know that you are seeing beauty in its truest form and you cannot hold onto it. You cannot grip it and restrain it. This beauty must be released, trusted to continue on to thence from which it came. You must go on with the image of it ingrained in your heart’s memory; the experience of it drawing you toward more beauty wherever it can be found and making you willing to sacrifice anything that would mar its presence in yourself.
For numerous people, God provided this glimpse of beauty, a beauty shaped and molded for heaven, in Amy. I was able to hold in the tears until Mass this morning. As I worshipped there, knowing that my own meager devotion was joined with the perfect songs and prayers of the saints in heaven, the awareness that the beauty of heaven had, in a way, increased while the beauty of this earth had, in the same way, lessened could not be avoided.
I wanted to thank all of you who prayed for Amy and ask you to continue to pray for her husband, Todd and her family, Frank and Nancy, Michelle, Angie and Mike.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.