Earlier today (Sunday 10th February) we had a very large gathering for the 10am Mass in Kilmovee. The Mass was offered as a Month’s Mind Mass in memory of a young man from the parish who died tragically on New Year’s Day. In trying to find a few words to share, I woke up this morning remembering another young man who died in similar circumstances a number of years ago. His mother spoke to me at the time about the concerns she had for her son’s friends and asked me to try to speak to them in some way. Again, unsure what to do or how to do that, I decided to write a letter to the friends – an imagined letter, from the young man’s Guardian Angel. I searched for those words (already on the blog) and decided to change them, just a little, since it’s almost certain I’d have written the original ones slightly different were I to have another go. I called the Guardian Angel “Súil”, meaning hope and now realise that is a verb “to hope” but maybe that’s no bad thing either. The more commonly used word is “Dóchas” but maybe hope needs to be a verb – something being done, something lived. In any case I shared these words at Mass and a few people asked me since for a copy. I’m going to include them here and hopefully they might speak to someone who needs to hear – “hopes” to hear something of encouragement. God Bless you all.
Dear Friends of Brian,
My name is Súil. I know you don’t know me though I have often been in your midst. I am Brian’s Guardian Angel. Like you, I felt such sadness as the news reached your ears that he had died. I talked to God and told him I felt I had failed. He asked me to watch out for Brian. Though I am supposed to know things, there were times I left the house with him and hadn’t a clue where we were going or what the night would bring. I enjoyed his company though, and deep down, he knew I was there. He knew God was there. God told me the other night that I hadn’t let him down. He said and I remember his words so clearly; “Súil, you were the last to say goodbye and the first to say hello”. God too wished that Brian had made different choices and especially this, his last and irreversible, choice.
You see what Brian knew was the love of his family, his friends and his desire for peace. He knew the future was taking shape and that the past, whatever he might have thought of it, helped shape that future. He came from a bright and caring family and was surrounded by so many good friends.
What Brian did not see, though in all honesty I tried to tell him, was the tears in your eyes. I whispered and shouted at him but somehow he could not hear me. If he did, he certainly gave no impression of having heard me. I know enough about him to be certain that he’d not have put anyone through the grief and sadness around us these past few weeks. God said to me, the other night, that He still cannot understand how slow people are to realise how much they mean. Regardless of what happens in life, regardless of the successes or mistakes, we matter to so many people. If only we could fully take that in. I’ve been there myself, even as an Angel, that feeling that nobody would really notice if I faded out but then thankfully something always reminds me that were I not around the world would be minus something special – something holy – someone needed.
I suppose that’s why I am writing these few lines, to thank you all for noticing and to say I am sorry for your tears. God wants me to say to all Brian’s friends: look around you – look at the tears on your own cheeks, feel the sadness in your own hearts and look at the faces of Brian’s family. Your lives are so, so precious. So many people need you and depend on you. Don’t ever think your life doesn’t matter or that you’d not be missed.
My friend – our friend, Brian must not have seen this on New Year’s Day. He knew it absolutely but somehow for a second, a second that can never be re-claimed, he didn’t see it. It’s so important that we all see and know the love of those around us – family, friends and all who are there to help.
We should not be here. Brian should not be gone from us. I still had miles to travel with him – we all had.
Your Angels want to travel with you.
O Angel of God
my guardian dear;
to whom God’s love
commits me here,
ever this day
be at my side
to light and guard
to rule and guide.