A loved one dies. We may be heart-broken or sad or relieved (if the illness has been long and wearisome). We cannot predict how we will react to bereavement.
Anger, depression, disorientation, indifference to routine, inner emptiness, lack of energy.
We may try to find fault with anyone associated with our loss; hospital, doctor, minister, a relative, paramedics, God! We ask “Why?” We may think that we are in a unique situation, forgetting for a moment how many others also suffer loss.
After the initial shock, we find ourselves arranging the funeral and wondering what a suitable memorial would be. We want to hang on to the deceased as long as possible, to keep their memory alive.
This acts as a comfort when there are few consolations to warm us. Some may turn to spiritualism, to regain some contact with the departed. But this may be the road to disappointment and frustration.
What does the Church believe? First, that Jesus was raised from the grave and offers us by God’s power the way to new life.
Secondly, that all is in God’s care and the Christian funeral service commends our loved one, in faith, to his fatherly arms.
Thirdly, that in God’s Kingdom, His people in heaven and on earth are one community where death has no power to separate or isolate.
Finally, that the grief journey is inevitable but therapeutic. With the support of family and friends, with the prayers of the faithful, with acts of concern and kindness, we can emerge into a new light to continue our lives. Perhaps also wiser to help others.