We are developing a mini-series here on Church Life Today about the relationship with our beloved dead. We’re talking about death, grief, longing, hope, and a lot more. This is connected to a project I myself am working on between the McGrath Institute for Church Life, where I work, and Ave Maria Press, which is a book on this topic. Animating that project are questions like “Where do our beloved dead go? How do they live? And what does this all mean for us, who remain?”

I have been talking with people about their experiences of the death of loved ones and their desire for communion with them. I’m not recording all of these conversations, but I have asked a couple people—and maybe I’ll ask more––if they would be willing to record an episode for our show so that you can listen in, too. This is the second of those episodes, the first of which appeared under the title “Heaven in the Midst of Death.”

My guest today is my friend Stephanie DePrez, a professional opera singer, a comedian, a voice coach, an artist. I’m so grateful to her for her willingness to talk with us today about her mom, Susie DePrez, and her own grief, desire, and hope.