There is a special place in my heart for those grieving the loss of a loved one, especially during COVID. The death of a loved one always comes too soon. During COVID, many are expressing the loss of opportunity to personally be at the bedside of a dying loved one. The fear that the person they love so deeply died alone, or without family, can be overwhelming. Guidelines in place to prevent COVID spread can further isolate those experiencing grief.
Emotions accompanying grief are intense and exhausting. Further, each person’s grief journey is unique. Trust in the love and mercy of God is necessary throughout the grief journey. After the loss of a loved one, one may be angry with God and question Him. Why my loved one? Why now? What did I do to deserve this pain? It’s important to remember that God never promised a life without suffering or pain. He did freely give His Son, who died on the Cross to save each of us and bring us to eternal life with Him. We can offer our pain and suffering to Him and unite it with His at the foot of the Cross. Our tears then become a form of healing and cleansing prayer.
Seeking the support of shared experience, although difficult, is beneficial. Faith-based grief support helps one feel more open to sharing their experience, pain, and prayer in a safe and confidential environment. Feeling supported and understood helps increase the self-compassion and care critical to healing.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
As Catholics, faith tells us that God has prepared a special place for each of us.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
This is witnessed as one reflects upon St. Clare of Assisi’s hour of death. “Do you see, O child, the King of glory Whom I see?” …. and behold a multitude of virgins in white garment entered, all of whom wore gold garlands on their heads. One more splendid than the others walked among them and from her crown…such a splendor came forth that is turned the night within the house into daylight. She moved toward the bed… and bending over her most lovingly gave her a most tender embrace.” (Legend of St. Clare, 46)