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Grief and Loss

By A Columban Missionary

The poet Robert Browning writes:

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattered all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!

Personally, the world looked different after the sorrow of my parents' death. All the small disappointments disappeared. Instead, I came to more deeply appreciate and treasure the many gifts and sacrifices of my parents. They were people of faith who lived with dedication, love and were life-giving. Naturally, they had their limitations. But, by and large, they were good, loving, devoted, committed people. How do we move through the sorrow of loss? What could be helpful? 

Share the story. Recently, my sister shared with me the story of her adult daughter who died suddenly. It was part of her healing process. Writing things on paper; e.g. some people write letters to the deceased. These may include regrets; or words which were not spoken; and how the grieving person feels. Some folks may share those letters with others at a later date. 

Grief support groups can provide the necessary structure for people to be with others who have the same or similar experiences. Trained counselors can provide safe places for the grieving person to express all that needs to be brought forward. This can be reassuring when done with a group of people. 

It is most important for all of us, at times of sorrow and loss, to be kind and gentle with ourselves. It is beneficial to accept the assistance of others. Also, to engage in walks, healthy eating and to laugh when possible. Being flexible can relieve tension of sorrows. 

We grieve when our cherished loved ones pass from this life into Eternal Life. We grieve because we loved them. It is this love which allows us to bear the sorrow of departure and continue on the journey of Faith. 

Let us be comforted in the promises of God that life continues in the everlasting Glory of the Lord. 

About us

Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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Missionary Society of St. Columban
1902 N. Calhoun
St. Columbans, NE 68056
Phone: 877-299-1920
Fax: 402-291-4984