In addition to this present world in which we now live, there exists a "bigger picture" - heaven, hell, and purgatory. The worst thing we can do for a loved one when he dies is to tell ourselves that he is certainly in heaven, and that we do not need to pray for his soul!
Those most in need are the poor souls in purgatory, those who can do nothing meritorious for themselves. They are out of sight and, so to speak, out of mind: the most forgotten...
The souls in purgatory patiently and with great hope endure suffering for the love of God, and count on our prayers and good works to pay off their debt.
Far from a fringe Catholic notion, Purgatory -- and our responsibility to those in it -- is a long-held Christian belief that appears countless times in the written and archeological record of early Christians.
God did not create Purgatory out of cruelty, but out of love, because He knows that a soul still defiled by sin could not bear to see Him face to face...
We all want to be remember when we die--by our families, our friends, and by those we respect. But the best person to remember you (and the best person to be present at your deathbed) is a Catholic priest.
We are bound by a kind of supernatural charity to the souls in Purgatory, and we should do what we can never to forget these brothers and sisters in Christ in this great moment of need!
Such is capability for goodness in the human heart, that when the suffering of another reaches a high degree, it cannot help but move one to pity. We must let ourselves be moved by the suffering of those in Purgatory, and aid them by our prayers and self-sacrifice.
So many brothers and sister have passed from this life, but they are sill united to us in charity. May they, and we, one day know everlasting union with God.