Coping with Loss
It's said that we tend to experience God in times of tribulation more than in our daily life. People who have no trials, sorrows, or sufferings struggle to know God because human instinct says that there's no need of God when all is well. The mark of a saint is one who relies on God in all seasons of life, both good and bad. At one time or another, we'll all experience loss and in those times, we should both pray and celebrate life.
The loss of anyone in our life is always sad. Absence is difficult to comprehend and oftentimes doesn't seem real. Even the loss of someone that we were only casually acquainted with can be a reminder of our own mortality. We're a connected people and when one of those connections is broken due to death, it affects those of us who are left behind. While it's natural to focus on the absence, we should also focus on the fullness of life that was lived. We should celebrate the impact that our loved one had on the community, the great things they were able to experience, and the cherished memories that we all hold.
Prayer is also a natural response to death. Our prayer can be much richer when we move past the initial waves of shock and grief. We can, and should, take on the role of intercessor for our loved one, offering up corporal and spiritual works of mercy on their behalf. Through the Communion of Saints, we're able to gain graces that they might need if they’re undergoing purification in Purgatory. At the same time, they're able to intercede for us as we continue our Earthly journey. Though we’re certainly physically separated by death, we're still connected through our spiritual lives.
The celebration of one's life is an important part of the grieving process. Sharing stories and writing some down is a way to preserve both the memory and legacy of our loved ones. These memories will be how future generations come to know their ancestors and their family history. Be grateful, too, for the opportunity to be brought together with extended family. Although the circumstances are not ideal, the funeral is still an opportunity for you to see and be with family members whom you may have not seen for some time.
Coping with loss is never easy. If we ensure that our grieving includes prayer and celebration of life, then we'll cherish the memory of our loved one's life and ensure that our bonds are not broken as we continue to journey together through life.