Today would have been my brother Tony’s 67th birthday.  Tony was born less than two years after me, so in many ways we grew up together.  He died less than four years ago.

He was a much-loved teacher, a husband and father of three sons, a grandfather, a friend, and much more.

I sent messages to his three sons and said to them that we give thanks for him and for how he has touched the lives of so many.  I also talked with his wife and connected with my two sisters.

In the morning I offered Mass for him and entrusted him into the hands of God.

A birthday is the celebration of a person’s life.  We celebrate who they are and the gift that they are to us.

In our Christian faith we say that we believe in the Communion of Saints.  Indeed, in Christ we all live.

Those who have died are still part of our lives.  They have helped us to be the person we are.  We also believe that love is eternal.  Relationships do not end with death.

For us Christians, death is the passage to the next stage of life.  Relationships can still continue to mature and grow.

I often say in funeral services that it is not too late to heal relationship, to accept and to give forgiveness.

We have been created to be in communion with each other.  We are not meant to be lone rangers.

The death and life of each one of us affects each other.

Remembering is such an important part of who we are.

Remembering with gratitude for things past.

Continuing to bring up things for healing that need ongoing healing.

We give thanks for all who have helped us to become the person we are and look forward to being together for ever.

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