From Our Pastoral Assistant
An old saying, and one that continues to be true, is that there are only two things that are certain in life – death and taxes. At this time of year we are all quite aware of the certainty of taxes as we prepare for April 15th! Death, too, is something we all will experience for ourselves, and before that, we will experience the death of others whom we love. These losses are hard, painful, life-changing, and gut-wrenching.
As Christians, we live in the hope of the Resurrection and we celebrate life that is unending, eternal, and with God – a life that we live now and will live forever. Yet when earthly life ceases and those we love are no longer physically with us, we grieve; we mourn. Grieving is not a lack of faith and mourning is not a sign of giving up or losing hope.
Grief and mourning are normal, human responses to loss. In his full humanity, Jesus grieved the death of his good friend Lazarus, as the scripture tells us “Jesus wept”. In fact, grief is not only normal, it is a way in which we honor the one who has died and our relationship with them. In mourning our loss we give tangible and meaningful expression to the precious one with whom we have shared life and now see no longer.
At Transfiguration, we seek to walk with one another in times of grief. We seek to support those who grieve to find ways to give expression to their grief by mourning their loss. We seek to recognize that:
- Grief is personal and each person grieves in his or her own way – there is no one right way to grieve.
- Grief takes as long as it takes – there is no timetable for grief.
- We do not get over our grief and loss – we must walk through it.
- Avoiding our grief does not make it go away.
- Groups can be powerful experiences of support as we journey through grief.
Last week we began an eight-week grief support group, and will offer another one in the fall. These groups offer structured time to learn, to share and to help each person integrate this loss into their lives so that life can feel whole, albeit ever changed, again. It doesn’t matter whether your loss is recent or happened many years ago – there is no timetable for grief. Regardless of society’s message, there is not a time by which you should be “over it” or “past it”.
As a faith community we accompany one another in all the seasons of life. We celebrate together and we cry together. Please let us know how we can support you as we journey through this life, living in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.
– The Rev. Nancy DeStefano