In the mail today was a conspicuous envelope from Angela Hospice – the facility we used for Kim’s home hospice at the end of her suffering last year. Normally, these envelopes contain something about Angela Hospice, its services, or its fundraising efforts. This time it contained a note about those we lost in December of 2020 with a URL and an invitation to view their virtual memorial, since, due to COVID, they would not be doing an in-person memorial.
So I went to the URL and entered the password. After a brief introduction, the ceremony, in which the names of those who passed in December of 2020 were read as a woman lit a votive candle for each one, began. Kim’s was the fifth name.
I don’t know why, but for the first time in several weeks, I broke down and sobbed. I went to the memorial mass at St. Thomas a’Beckett, our parish and the church from which Kim was buried, on All Souls Day and did not have the same response at the reading of her name. Maybe it was the candles. All those candles waiting to be lit, representing all of those whose life on earth was over. The flames that only burn here symbolically, for their flame on earth was extinguished. So many candles, and representing only one month of last year- and only those who were under the care of Angela Hospice…
It is prudent to remember that our time here on earth is brief and that we should conduct our lives as if every moment is the rarest, most valuable thing there is. Because they are.