If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all burned out
You'll still be burning so bright
Cast me gently
For the night has been unkind
My mom and her sister Marge were women of deep faith. Their entire lives were lived in the love of the Lord. My mom died ten years ago. It was a brain tumor that resulted in her leaving this earth for eternity with the Lord at the age of 73. Eight years later my aunt Marge passed away at the age of 87.
At the funeral wake for Marge, her daughter, my cousin Mary, a beautiful and faith filled woman who seemed to have everything going for her, shared a story with me about my mom. It seems that Mary had been suffering from depression at the time of my mom’s death. Life for her was very bleak. Shortly after my mom had died, Mary had a dream about her. In Mary's dream, my mom came to her and said “Mary, it’s all worth it.” That dream gave my cousin so much peace, believing that my mom was in heaven and was encouraging Mary by letting her know that all of those earthly trials will be replaced with the joys of heaven. Of course, my sisters and I were a bit jealous of Mary because she had the dream about my mom and we didn’t, but maybe Mary needed it more at that time.
In the few months before my Aunt Marge died I myself had two experiences of prayer that have left me pondering the power of prayer and the ability we have to feel the needs of others. I was at daily Mass. During the consecration when the priest prays for those who have died, our pastor, Fr. Dave, has the habit of pausing to give everyone time to silently pray for those departed souls that we hold deeply in our hearts. I always use this time to pray for my parents and anyone I know who has died recently, by giving their names to the Lord. Suddenly, out of the blue, Marge's name came to my mind. I had not been thinking of her and had not seen her in such a long time. I wondered, "why now?" Had she died and I hadn't heard about it yet? Shortly after I “heard” her name at Mass, I was told that she was sick and in the hospital. I wondered if it wasn’t Marge’s angel who had placed her name in my mind and my heart, knowing that she was in need of prayer. A few months later this happened yet again, Marge's name coming to my mind during the consecration at Mass. It was later that I learned she had been moved to a hospice right around the time when I had "heard" her name at Mass.
By the time she finally did die, I was the one suffering through a deep depression like my cousin Mary. So, although I never had a dream about my aunt Marge or my mom comforting me from heaven, my cousin Mary’s words to me at Marge’s funeral wake about her own dream gave me comfort. God must have meant for her to share her experience with me at this particular time because he knew I needed it more at that moment than I did at the time of my own mother’s death.
Since that time two years ago, my bouts of depression come and go with a frequency which leaves me spinning, but those words that Mary heard in her dream, “it’s all worth it”, help me to cope when I know that whatever suffering I undergo here on earth will draw me to eternal joys if I can only remember to offer it up to God for the good of others both living and deceased.