In God’s Heaven, there are no more goodbyes

One day in the love of Christ we’ll meet once again.
We’ll laugh as we celebrate a life with no end,
Where death has been overcome by our Risen Lord.

And there are no more goodbyes. No more tears.
No more loneliness and no more fear.
Our pain turns to joy. Darkness to light.
In God’s heaven there are no more goodbyes.

I disagree with Sir Elton John, who in 1976 had a hit with the song “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.” Sorry, Elton, but I think “goodbye” is the hardest word.

When relationships end, when we drop our children off at college, when we kiss grandchildren farewell knowing it will be months until we see them, “goodbyes” are hard.

But there is no “goodbye” as difficult as when a loved one dies — a spouse, a parent, a child, a dear friend. We are plunged into a grief that rips our heart. Yes, the hurt eases with the passage of time, but it won’t be healed until we are, please God, reunited with them in Heaven. There at last, I believe, there are no more goodbyes.

That’s the theme of a song I composed whose introduction is quoted above. It was written to share faith, hope, and comfort with those who are grieving.

I mention it in this space for two reasons: 1) The church is about to specially remember our faithful departed with the arrival of November and its observances of All Saints and All Souls, and 2) The song serves as a musical backdrop for a video The Catholic Post has produced to which dozens of our readers contributed. (See YouTube link above.)

The video features the images of 50 persons from our diocese who died in the past year. Their photos were shared by loved ones who miss them. We deeply thank these families for trusting us with these images, which serve to represent hundreds more from central Illinois who died in the last 12 months.

We invite you to view the video, which is a Year of Faith project of this newspaper. As you watch, pray for those pictured, their families, and all the others they represent. Pray for your own departed loved ones. And then, if you find the song and video to be a comfort and a statement of faith, share it on your social media sites as All Souls’ Day evangelization.

For as Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, pointed out in his 2008 Festival Letter on “Praying for the Dead,” as people of faith we do not mourn without hope. The video ends with a quote from that letter: “Both our hope in the resurrection and our love for one another should oblige us to pray constantly for all those who have died and gone before us.”

Thank you for your consideration of our project, and goodbye . . . but only for now. — Thomas J. Dermody

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