All Souls Day used to be about all souls—not anyone in particular.
Then three years ago our nephew’s heart stopped beating on Halloween, just a few weeks before he was due to be born. We spent All Saints Day waiting, praying, grieving. Then on All Souls Day Georgie was born, and I drove to the hospital to hold him.
I wasn’t really holding Georgie himself, of course. His soul was in heaven, but his body was here on earth. And, as difficult as it was, I was so honored to be with my sister and brother-in-law, to have the chance to spend time with them, to celebrate Georgie and marvel at his perfectly beautiful little face, the gift of having him in our lives, even though we wanted it to be different.
That was three years ago. Today All Souls Day is still about Georgie. We love him. We miss him. We talk to him. He really feels like our very personal, special friend in heaven.
I watch our children together and imagine Georgie chasing them and being chased, laughing at their silliness, looking up to his boy cousins who can do so many amazing things. I have no doubt that Georgie watches them play, laughing and looking forward to meeting them one day. And I know he loves them, just as we love him.
As we were reading a few saint stories together, our boys started asking about miracles. How could we ask someone we think is in heaven for a miracle? How does the Pope decide who is an official saint? Does a miracle have to be a miracle-miracle, where there was no hope at all, or could there be a tiny, tiny bit of hope? Would it still be a miracle?
Then we started talking about Georgie. We know he’s a saint because we know he’s in heaven. But we know he’s not a saint we’ll find in a book. And I explained, as I have many times, that we can ask him to talk to Jesus for us—just as we ask Jesus to give Georgie a hug and a kiss from us.
Jesus and Georgie are together there, and we are together here.
Somehow, although Georgie feels far away, he also helps make heaven feel closer and more real. Maybe that’s what all souls do—make you aspire to join them in heaven one day, and help you feel that heaven isn’t quite that far away.
Today I imagine at least one person in particular is on your mind and heart. I hope All Souls Day brings you comfort, peace, and hope.