As my family continues to mourn the loss of my Zia I realize that there is something greater at work within this situation. Only a few days ago while Zia was on her way alone to visit her Doctor with a gift for Christmas she fell to the pavement as a result of a massive heart attack. Thanks to many kind soul bystanders who called 911 she was able to be stabilized enough to make it to the hospital. Today was difficult as I was just made aware of many of the details of her final moments. My Zia has suffered greatly in her life with heart trouble. From as early as her forties she had already had her first of what would be multiple heart attacks before her final rest at age 68.
Today we had Zia's funeral and it was a very emotional time for all present. Despite her history of heart trouble she was doing relatively well and this was very sudden for all of us. The viewing was very difficult and the burial was equally as sorrowful. It was very evident that Zia Giovanna is already greatly missed by everyone who knew her.
Following the burial, we gathered at my grandparents home to eat and share time with one another. Due to the amount of people my Nonna decided to have our lunch in the basement at the larger table.
As I walked down into Nonna's basement I realized that it was the first time in years that my entire family (extended family and all) was sharing a meal together in that basement. The death of my Zia had not only joined us all together again in love, but it brought life back into an area of the home where we used to spend many holiday dinners and gatherings. Overcome with emotion many of my cousins sat and cried over the loss of Zia, while others shared memories of Nonna's basement and the many laughs lived. We spoke of our deceased grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, cousins, and other relatives who have gone before us, and were once so very present in the same space that we shared today. When this realization came upon me I paused and took this picture with my phone. I had to capture this moment of us sharing food and candidly chatting with each other. When I looked at the picture later this evening I noticed the amount of light shining in through the small basement window; it was then I realized that the Lord's light is truly present amidst our time of darkness.
It is easy to focus on the darkness when these events occur. Death is one of these circumstances that presents us with numerous emotions. In these moments many question their faith, the existence of God, and the purpose for such a loss to happen. Especially now within this joyful season of Christ's birth it seems that death has come at the "wrong time". When we accept that God's time is always right and further seek and yearn for His will we may come to find supernatural hope and divine comfort within our hearts. We may come to see that God's light is truly so very near to us.
Tonight I pray for all of those who mourn the loss of Zia Giovanna, and for anyone who is dealing with loss, suffering, and a heavy heart during this time. May we be open to seeing the light of Christ surrounding us amidst our circumstances. Let us draw nearer to our Lord with trust and hope that though we do not know His plan we can trust in His Providence. May we continue to extend the gift of love and our time to one another. May our Lord have mercy on all of our deceased loved ones and may they be welcomed into His Kingdom. Tonight I am saddened by the loss of my Zia, and yet, I rejoice with hopeful prayer for Zia Giovanna to be blessed to spend Christmas day with The birthday boy. Amen (C.C.)