so many others than me have done such a good job of expressing the sorrow as well as the joy that we are all going through at the loss of our Papa. I refer you to them.
Elliot B, who entered the church this year
Mark Shea, taking another break from his sabbatical
The ragemonkeys, who have a pic of a beautiful candle
JP II by the numbers
and of course all the others who are so much more eloquent than I could possibly be.
I am old enough to remember the death of Blessed John XXIII and the scenes from the election of Pope Paul VI. I think I read about it in Life Magazine, to which my parents had a subscription. I must have been 8 years old, and we didn't have a TV. When Pope Paul VI died, I was a young married mom with two kids and I don't remember much of the details other than the double surprises of 1) the smiling Pope and 2) the Polish Pope. I was saddened by the deaths of PPVI and JPI, but they didn't affect me viscerally the way this death has.
Maybe it's because I'm older now, in the second half of my life. Maybe because I've had so many family and friends die over the last few years. I know that this morning at Mass, when the choir sang "The King of Love, my Shepherd Is", I lost it. I remembered singing that hymn for my cousin Sophia's funeral last year, and the confluence of that hymn, the Pope's death, Terri Schiavo's death, and my own mortality just hit me hard.
Addendum - here is a humorous concept of what might happen if we could broadcast from beyond the veil