Fortresses of Courage in the Wilderness of Mourning

Woman in wilderness

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

As I write these words, I know of two women who are accompanying loved ones on their final journeys. One is a wife, tending to her dying husband. The other is a daughter, spending the remaining precious moments with her ailing father.

At such times, the crush of emotions can be overwhelming. The torrent of sadness pouring over one’s soul. The deep longing for opportunities missed. The chilling realization that goodbye will come all too soon.

These women are fortresses of courage in the face of death. They deal with its stinging reality everyday, yet they manage to share smiles with friends and co-workers who desperately wish they could relieve them of their current pain.

Yet, at such times, there is also a special grace that shines through the wilderness of mourning. It is the realization of the inherent, unmistakable value of life–that life, in all its complexity, is worth living.There can be gratitude for the celebrations in days past…thankfulness for the memories shared.

These two women are witnesses to their loved ones’ lives. They are the cheering section, even in those final, difficult moments when eternity beckons. They are the caregivers who give their beloved the wings to fly back home to God.

While it is painfully hard to serve as a bystander in such circumstances, it is also ennobling. For in living life to the fullest, these unrepeatable human beings are teaching us all how to live. And they are sharing the lesson with us that each life is to be treasured and protected until the point of natural death.



Lessons from Las Vegas

Las Vegas

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director,

Our nation is now hurting. The biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history has left a trail of heartache which extends far beyond the glitzy confines of Las Vegas, Nevada. The senseless violence is beyond comprehension.

So many families, so many couples have been ripped apart by a savage act of domestic terror. A number of media outlets have rightly focused on the many heroes who are working to save the lives of those injured in the melee, and to shine a spotlight on the selfless courage of the first responders to the scene.

The tragic incident puts two things in focus:1.) the preciousness of every single human life, no matter the age; and 2.) the valor of those willing to put their own lives on the line to attempt to save the lives of others. As we grieve as a nation, let us redouble our efforts to instill greater respect for all innocent human life, from the dawn to the twilight of life.