Aunt Cecilia 

Funerals are for the living. We remember, we celebrate, and we are reminded of the precious gift of time. Tonight was a rosary celebration for my Aunt Cecilia and tomorrow follows the funeral mass and burial. 

Aunt Cecilia was a compassionate and soft soul. She embodied many of the same characteristics my grandma (her mom) exemplified. I can rest assured the two are happily embracing each other again in Heaven.

It was almost a year that my Grandma Carrie passed. And it was only a week ago I had a 40 minute conversation face to face with my Aunt Cecilia at a different family funeral. She came over to me and we talked about Gram. Ironically, our conversation ended with circling around a cute newborn baby. A reminder of the circle of life and how precious our days are. I was just sitting down and talking with my Aunt last week taking this picture below. A few short days later I heard of her passing. Life is short. Welcome the day. 

Tonight as I sat in the pews saying the rosary with family I was thinking about what others might be thinking. Towards the end of the celebration, I went to the podium to share some cumulative thoughts about Aunt Cecilia, family, and life. 

I shared, “We are reminded of a daughter, sister, aunt, and wife. Aunt Cecilia was a compassionate and gentle soul. She reminds us to love one another. She brought our family together tonight and may we be reminded to forgive ourselves and one another.”

Funerals are a time to forgive. How many times do we hold grudges or deal with internal family drama? How many times do we get caught up in the day-to-day and lose track of the bigger picture? 

Before the celebration tonight, I visited the cemetery with my dad where my grandma and grandpa rest in peace. Imagine the thoughts that run through our mind when we visit burial sites? What do you think about when you visit loved ones graves? For me, it brings happiness and memories of good times laughing and playing cards around a kitchen table. It also chokes me up. That feeling when your throat gets tight and you have a hard time swallowing. But it’s important for us to remember, more importantly it’s vital for us to feel.

Those feelings we feel at a cemetery or for some it’s hearing a specific song… those feelings remind us that we are human. Those feelings are what makes life worth living. 

I can’t wait to feel the feelings of a wife and kids. These feelings are something for us to live for and look forward to. As you think about your Aunt Cecilia, your family, feelings, and life… Remember life is short. As much as we get caught up in bills, car problems, and honey do’s… Let us be grateful for the time we have. 

Life in its simplest form… Feel love. Once we give and receive love, we feel a small dose of what eternal life feels like. Once we forgive ourselves and others we are closer to feeling a deeper love. Love is compassion, sympathy, and kindness. Love is being aware of time. I knew a week ago when Aunt Cecilia and I chatted I was sharing my love with God through her. As difficult as it may be, I encourage you to go visit a family member you haven’t seen in awhile. This week, weekend, today… Visit a loved one, forgive yourself/them and search for that feeling. I love you Aunt Cecilia.

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