My reflections during All Souls' Day.
When I die, please do not assume that I'd gone to Heaven. Of course, I would love to be there eventually, but please do not assume that it will be a direct flight. Instead, please pray for the eternal repose of my soul.
If you are family, and the good Lord blesses me with grandchildren, please do not tell my apos (grandchildren) that Lola (Grandma) had gone to Heaven. Tell them to remember the times when Lola read them one storybook after another at bedtime, but she was the one who fell asleep instead. Tell them to treasure the nice things that Lola made for them - dainty hankies with bunnies sewn on them or maybe the floral beach shorts that she insisted they wear even when they had outgrown them. Remind them how much Lola loved them to tiny little pieces that she planted deep in her heart. After you have told them all that, tell them to pray for Lola's soul, that the good Lord may be merciful, forgive all of Lola's sins, and wash and wring her clean so that she can go marching to Heaven and be with God, Mama Mary, and all the saints.
If you are a friend, please do me one last favor, and remember only the good times we had together. The letters we wrote each other and sent via snail mail, the miles we ran together, the Thursday afternoons we reserved for duckpin bowling, the living-in-a-strange-land tips we shared, and the protracted lunch dates we called "board meetings". Please forgive me for the times when I had been nasty and selfish because that was not the real me, right? Remember only the best version of me that you know, no matter that that version pales when compared to the regular versions of your other friends. Miss me sometimes because that would really flatter me, although I'm not sure if I would be capable of finding out whether you actually missed me or not. If you forget all that as you go on with life without your friend Marcia, fine. Just don't forget to pray for my soul to finally rest in the bosom of God's love. I'd really like that.
When I die, there is nothing more that I'd want than to merit Heaven and an eternity with my Creator. Although I am trying to earn that while on earth, I will probably fall short. So please pray for my soul. Help me up the remaining steps to Heaven.