Walsall Advertiser Living Faith Article: 17 November 2011
Benjamin Franklin one of the founding Father’s of the United States famously said, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
The loss of someone we love is without doubt the most painful experience we face in life.Claire Rayner, a well known agony aunt who died last year, wrote, “Only the unloved and unloving escape grief. It is the price we all have to pay, eventually for the love that makes our lives worth living. Whether it be the loss of parent, spouse, child, brother, sister or friend, the pain lies in wait for us. And when it comes it has to be experienced before it can be eased.”
How we respond to loss is different for each one of us. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, the important thing is that everyone is given time to grieve in their own way and at their own pace. Having said this, it is not uncommon to feel a sense of disbelief, numbness, anger, pain, guilt and deep sense of loss.
As much as we would like to avoid the pain of grief, there is no way around it, only a way through it. It is in experiencing and expressing their deep sense of grief that the bereaved slowly come to terms with their loss.
The Bible tells the story of how Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. Jesus didn’t hide from the pain, or ignore it, but faced it full on. If Jesus was able to weep at his friend’s tomb, it reminds us that it is okay for us to cry, and to express our sense of pain and loss. We shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed of letting our emotions out, because it is an expression of our love for those we have lost, and it is part of the healing process. It is only when we try to suppress these emotions, and not allow ourselves to grieve properly that problems arise.
Following a bereavement many people find being able to talk to others who have been through similar experiences helpful, which is why at St Martin’s we are launching a new monthly bereavement support group meeting today at 11am, and on the third Thursday of every month. If you would like more information about this group please contact me on 01922 611909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.