Upon Further Reflection

We recently celebrated our annual Memorial Mass for those who lost loved ones this year.

I often think that when we experience significant loss of any kind, we can feel disoriented. The usual landmarks of our life can be lost: relationships we count on, how we spend our time, and the rituals that mark the habits of our life. The image of something (maybe of ourself!) falling or coming apart comes to mind. But, upon further reflection, my experience has been that those of us left to continue in the face of loss have benefited greatly from a caring community of others trusting in God’s benevolence and care for us. It seems:

  • There is great power in coming together. We have seen the gift it is to share, in words and even tears, with others who understand at this time of loss. It can be comforting and healing.
  • Grief is a journey, and willingness to be in relationship with others, to see others who have not only survived but have thrived, who never stop missing their loved one, but learn how to find continued meaning in their life, is a powerful witness to the resilience of the human spirit.
  • As we gather, we borrow and share strength from each other. Some days you have it together and I am falling apart and vice versa. I was one of seven children, and my mom would say, “You can all fall apart but just not all on the same day.” This perspective gives us companions who understand and care on the days we are handling things and are there for us those days we need a friend.
  • Healing has many layers. We have learned those who travel through loss with others often achieve a deeper healing of heart and soul.

Upon further reflection, a part of life is to love, and a part is to lose those we love. Love is the best in life. Loss may be our most profound challenge. We are in this together, in loving and in losing. It is a blessing to travel this road with others who care and put their trust in our good God who walks with us, and who “wipes away every tear from our eyes.”