Accidental glory: local souls who passed in 2019

Three years ago today, our daughter Jackie passed away. She was thirty-three years old.

According to Catholic doctrine, she was judged immediately after death on the fruits she worked for and the merits she earned in this life, as will we all be judged.

Catholicism offers a mercy to those left behind, bereft. Mother Church urges her children to pray for the dead. No prayer goes to waste.

If your loved one needs nipping and tucking, polishing and shining before entering the Beatific Vision, then your prayers will speed the process. That’s Purgatory — the suffering souls know that they are saved, that they will, eventually, reach Heaven. But nothing they can do for themselves can hasten the moment of their release.

If your loved one already enjoys the reward of a well-lived life, still your prayer does not go to waste. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, prayers for a holy soul add to that soul’s “accidental glory” — that soul’s ability to understand and join in heavenly life is enlarged, as the Grinch’s too small heart grew three sizes through the goodwill of the Whos, as Ebenezer Scrooge’s life was upended by the visit of the three Christmas spirits.

With that in mind, and for the comfort and solace of those who lost a loved one, here is a list of local souls who passed in 2019. Feel free, if you wish, to add others in the comments.

Local souls who passed in 2019

Robert Briggerman
March 9
George Hallak
March 20
Rev. Dr. John C. Bonner
March 29
Darrell Essex
April 16
Marinette Rodier
May 13
Maurice Kamhi
November 2
Walter Bowman
November 17
Seth Eaker-Morgan
December 17

If you do not believe in an afterlife, more’s the pity. If your religious beliefs differ from Catholic doctrine, feel free to add your own thoughts and prayers for those who passed in 2019, and their families. For those who insist on wishful or “magical” thinking — that reality bends to your personal will — this is a prod to let go of that. Truth is immutable, unchanging, and eternal. There is no “your truth” and “my truth” — only Truth. When it is my time, I expect to come face to face with the Judge of Fearsome Majesty and to throw myself on the mercy of His Mother. If not that, if Nothing… well, then nothing matters as much as a flyspeck, and I won’t know, will I?


  1. Dear Shelley,
    I extend my condolences and prayers for your daughter who passed. My daughter passed away eight months after my husband Bill’s passing. I just thank God for all the beautiful memories. He married, me hence I came to America and became a citizen and now living the American dream. It is important that we all worry about our treasures in heaven instead of monetary values for that is our real home.I am a 50 year member of St.Pius V in Buena Park and donate one hour daily for the Eucharistic Adoration to pray for cancer victims and for departed souls. I will include your daughter.Thank you for sharing.gale

    1. Author


      Losing a daughter so soon after losing a husband must be more than heartbreaking, even with strong belief in storing up treasures in Heaven and an active faith life. May God abundantly bless your departed husband and daughter, who no doubt eagerly anticipate meeting up with you again! (Not too soon, thought.) Thank you for including my daughter in your prayer intentions.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  2. Thank you for sharing. It is not easy. If it was not for my Faith I could not make it. God bless you and family. Theresa

    1. Author


      Thank you for your kind words, and your service to our communities. We will take all the blessings on offer.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

  3. Hello Shelley,
    I am very sad that it’s been three years since your wonderful daughter passed away way before her time. And to the others listed, may they all Rest In Peace.

    1. Author


      Thank you for your kind words, and for your generous thoughts for all those who passed away last year.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

Comments are closed.