Remember the life of Catherine Anne Johnson. A life gone unexpectedly, and all too soon. And while we are steeped in sadness, we must all remember that today is about remembering the amazing woman that Cathy was. 

She was our rock. Our hero. The matriarch. Our life-giver. The most important woman in our life. Our cheerleader. Our motivator. The one in whom we confided in. The one who believed in us when no one else did. She had our back. She stood beside us. She sang with us. She cried with us. She laughed with us. She laughed with us. She was amazing, and today we remember exactly that. 

“Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.” St Francis Assisi 

2 Corinthians 5:5-10

5 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad

Today, we GROAN. We ache. We are knotted up within. We’re burdened. Deep within our soul we hurt; we hurt so badly, that there are no words to describe the sense of loss we all feel. 

Sometimes, there are no answers. When someone dies unexpectedly, it catches everyone off guard. What then can you say to a child who has lost their mother? Their hero? Their rock?

What can you say to a brother or sister who has lost their beloved sibling? The person they have known the longest? Their best friend?

What can you say to a husband, who has lost the love of his life? His most cherished, adored, valuable, love? His best-friend. His partner. His confidant. His one and only.

There are no words that will heal the brokenness anyone feels today. Yet we will try. Because we have to. We have no option.

So today we ache. Today we are in knots. Today, our souls hurt deep within. But tomorrow, we try. We heal. We cling to the loved ones we still have. We hold each other just a little bit closer. We cherish the moments just a little bit longer. We laugh a little bit louder. We love a little bit harder. 

Today We Ache. Tomorrow We Hope. 

Because faith is the substance of things hoped for. Because right now if we don’t cling to faith, we lack hope. We lack vision. We lack clarity. We lack. We lack.

You see, we have confidence. We have confidence that as much pain as we are in today, our aunt, our cousin, our sister, our mom, our wife; our friend, our very best friend, is no longer in pain. No more will she experience the pain that life offered. No more will she experience hurt. No more will she be trapped by her earthly body.

We have confidence that as much pain as we are in today, Catherine Anne Johnson is no longer hurting. For now she has a heavenly body. A perfect body. A pain-free body. A body united with Jesus Christ. 

And that right there is our hope. That though we miss her dearly, she is not alone. She is anxiously awaiting our heavenly reunion.

One in where hugs are shared again. Where embraces are felt longer. Where kisses taste a little sweeter. Where there are no more long goodbyes.

Then, and only then, will we find our hope fulfilled; our groans fully healed.

Today we groan. Tomorrow we hope. 

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