1. Bereaved people love to talk and write about their loved ones... It doesn't matter how many years go by...We still love to talk about the ones we miss and the memories we shared. Only through the pain, through the Cross, can we find healing. I have actually found writing to be extremely therapeutic so welcome to my "session."*wink* As the years go by, talking and writing are ways for us to keep memories alive for as long as we survive without them, it's the salve on our wound...until we meet again and our mourning is turned into dancing.
Please don't judge us unless you've walked in our shoes...
3. Please don't ever try to comfort a grieving person by telling them they can "get another one"...whether it be a spouse or a baby. (Like you can run out to the grocery store and buy another!?)
Yes, you may have other children that bring joy to your life again, but that one missing human being is irreplaceable. Well, in a nutshell, this is how I feel about losing a husband. He was a dear and precious soul who was his own person, a spouse and a Dad that is dearly missed. It used to drive me mad when people would say: "Oh, you're young so you can still get married again." Sure, I'll just get right on that! Not. I had no plans or a desire to remarry but God obviously saw things differently. It is a miraculous blessing that He saw fit to bring me another wonderful man to share the rest of my life with. Being remarried brings me great joy that only a Sacrament can bring. However, one person does not replace another. You can still miss the past and love in the present, if that makes sense?. Ultimately, it's very difficult to put all of this in words because it boils down to a matter of the heart. That's one thing I do know how to put into words...your heart grows in it's capacity for love after loss.
4. Your love for a deceased loved one is not a threat to any living loved ones. God fills our hearts with enough love to go to the moon and back!
5. Suffering a loss never goes away. The pain undoubtedly diminishes with time and we can certainly move forward with greater ease but speaking for myself, loss of a spouse stays with us all of our lives. For the most part, I am a faith-filled person who undertands that my suffering has been a great gift. I know for a fact that my anguish has made me a better Catholic Christian and it has bathed me in showers of mercy, opening the dam to pour forth forgiveness that was necessary in my situation. Most recently, my personal grief has brought me to my knees in thanksgiving...Grateful for grace and hope that prevail. However, (there are lots of 'howevers' in grief;) there are days when I don't always sit perfectly well with it. The ocean of grief ebbs and tides like the natural rhythms of life...It comes and goes with waves that are all shapes and sizes. Hence, compassion and prayers are gifts during these times.
A bereaved person would be thankful for this any day, any month, any year.
+++A special thank you to all who have offered prayers for me this year as I journey through another Lent, up that Calvary Hill to my own Good Friday. I appreciate this more than I can express. I will also be praying for all of you in return for your generosity+++