The gift of Frank: absence, loss, peaceful stillness

Today is the birthday of my brother Frank who died on March 13. I know this brother who served as a role model, friend, godfather and big brother influenced me and my life choice when he was physically present.But having known in a unique and novel way his absence these past months, one aspect of my faith has taken on even a deeper meaning. In Frank’s absence I have become more connected and aware of the communion of saints. There were so many vivid signs from Frank to me and my family since March when we entrusted him to our God and eternal life. He is called upon many times, almost daily, to guide my actions and decisions because of the many stories from family, friends, and his co-worker of what a wise, caring, compassionate and generous person he was for them. I have tried to carry on that legacy by trying to emulate his goodness and virtues. His humility and constancy to so many is a tribute to him that I continue to treasure. He was truly another “St. Vincent de Paul” among us. There are still days when I am overcome with loss, and I must admit today is one of them. I feel his absence and an aching loss. I find myself being very tearful and sad but also so very grateful for the gift of Frank in my life and so many others. I look outside and gaze on the frigid, pure blanket of snow and ice and as it quietly lingers and melts, I immediately smile knowing that Frank is also lingering with us. I believe Frank is safe, peaceful and happy where he is, and he is not that far away really, because in the fragile, hurting, peaceful stillness of my heart we are one. I love you Frank. Happy Birthday!