My friend's funeral was on Friday and during her funeral, I found myself feeling a bit awkward because I felt like I should be sadder (read: closer to tears or crying) than I was. It wasn't until today during communion that I finally broke down (tears dripping down off my face kinda broke down). What struck me as odd about this was that the communion song was 'The Canticle of the Turning", listed as a 'praise' song in our hymnal, and a favorite song of mine that typically leaves me feeling quite hopeful/upbeat.
As I pondered why these tears were coming today, my first thought was 'it's just finally starting to sink in', but then I remembered a thought I'd had during the funeral when I was trying to figure what was 'wrong' with me: what happens when someone who is not Catholic dies? I kept waiting for the 'into Your hands we commend her soul' part, but of course it never came. And so, after some thought it made sense to me that though today's Mass was not a Funeral Mass for my friend, it was the tradition I am used to when someone dies; it is where I am most comfortable mourning.
Today, I gained a new appreciation for my Catholic Faith and it's tradition. Yes, everyone mourns in their own time, but today, it was the tradition, the familiarity that allowed me to finally 'feel' the loss. I wasn't wondering 'what's next?' or 'how does this work?', I knew and my mind and heart were free to feel. While the tears caught me off guard, I am grateful for not only the tears themselves, but that they finally came.
But I still don't have an answer to my question:
What happens when someone who is not Catholic dies? I would imagine this must be broken down into 2 parts 1) what happens when someone who is Christian, but not Catholic dies? and 2) what happens when someone who is not Christian and not Catholic dies? I don't mean the details of funerals and such, but what happens to their soul, what is 'next'?