Grief affects us all and touches us in different ways
Break ups, illnesses, job losses, the death of loved ones – we all face sorrows and disappointments throughout our lives, and any of these can make us feel like the world we knew no longer exists.
How can you carry on enjoying your life when someone close to you, someone who brought you happiness, is no longer a part of it? Surviving a traumatic event or suffering from an illness can equally make you feel like everything has come to a standstill. That’s why it’s important to remember that grief is temporary. Grief doesn’t have the final say.
Finding consolation in your grief
No matter how low you feel when you’re grieving, you will start to feel better. It might take weeks, months, sometimes even longer, but you will begin to find acceptance and the hole in your life will heal. This isn’t to say that if you’re grieving for someone, you’ll forget your loss – memory is a gift that allows us to keep the spirit of our loved ones alive. But you will learn to carry on living your life, while holding on to and treasuring the memories.
To help the healing process, you could talk to a friend or family member about how you’re feeling. Hearing how others dealt with their grief is a great way to help you cope with yours. Praying or talking to your local priest can also be a valuable part of the process. Praying can help us find meaning in our lives, and to see the bigger picture – it can bring hope to what seemed like hopelessness.
Opening yourself to the possibility that God can be found in your grief is another way of helping you find consolation, or peace. Jesus carried the grief of the world when he died on the cross, and transformed it into hope when he rose from the dead. Because of his actions, we can now live in the hope that the grief that grips us will be transformed into peace that lasts forever.
Father Neil Vaney
This writing is based on the content of ‘What Catholics Believe’, Booklet 2, ‘God Speaks To Us’ referencing page 9. Should you like to read more just click either of the links below to download ‘Booklet 2’ or the complete set of ‘What Catholics Believe’.