You probably want to remember all – and only – the good times with your spouse. You surely have some
cherished memories of loving conversations, happy, relaxing holidays, funny incidents, generous actions,
and peaceful moments. One way to capture those memories is to write them down. Then, later on, when
the memories are not so vivid, you can read what you wrote and treasure the good times again.
In the first year of my grief, I wrote down many good memories of my husband. Reading them gives me a
chance not to pine for the past but to give thanks for what we shared. I also wrote down not-so good
memories that I hoped I could forget. Most of those began with differing perspectives and ended with in
angry words or deafening silences. Trying to block out those memories only brought them to mind over
and over again. For me the way to release them was to recall them, forgive myself and my spouse, and
offer our very human love into the hands of God, whose mercy can heal our wounds and reconcile us
even after death.
Enter into silent reflection. Close your eyes and open your heart to God. If memories come, don’t hold on to
them. Just let them pass by like sailboats on a lake. Allow feelings to come and go without blocking or
judging them. When you are ready, you may conclude with:
Merciful God, you know everything about (my spouse) and me. You know our virtues and our faults. You
know our struggles and our joys. I give you thanks for the life we shared. Allow me to continue to treasure
the good memories while opening myself to your will for me now. Help me to forgive myself and (my
spouse) for the hurtful times. Heal our wounds and lead both of us forward in your love. I pray this through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
For with the Lord is mercy, with the Lord is plenteous redemption. – Psalm 130: 7b
Our attitudes impact how we behave. People with positive attitudes tend to look on the bright side of life and anticipate that bad things are fleeting. They tend to be affirming, forward-thinking, and happy. People with negative attitudes tend to focus on things that are going badly and anticipate that bad things will continue to happen. They tend to be skeptical, cynical, and sometimes grumpy.
People have probably told you they are praying for you. This can be a great consolation. It means that you are not in this alone. Others are lifting you up in prayer and asking God to ease your pain. After the death of my husband, someone in my parish went one step further. She said to me, “It may be hard for you to pray right now, but don’t worry, we’ll pray for you”.
Now and then I would forget that my husband’s absence was permanent. One morning I woke and
wondered if he’d already gone to work. Another day I was putting dishes on the table and realised that
Ponder The process of determining what God is asking is called discernment. The word discernment means to sift apart. When we enter into discernment, we set aside time to pray and to talk with a friend, a family member, or a spiritual advisor who can help us gain insights as to where we are being […]
There’s so much to do after your spouse dies: making funeral arrangements, receiving guests, writing thank-you cards, executing the will, managing finances, sorting through clothes and possessions. Add to that your everyday responsibilities and the list can be stressful and exhausting. It’s not only the length of the list, it’s also the anxiety connected with […]
Condolence wishes can truly bring us comfort. They communicate that others share our grief. The word “condolence” comes from the Latin word meaning “to feel pain”. But others cannot truly feel how deeply
we are suffering. They cannot know the conflicted feelings within us. Their expressions of sympathy can
only go so far in easing our grief. And yet, their wishes do serve to remind us that we are not alone in our sorrow, that others also cared for and will miss our departed spouse (friend).
You’re supposed to have strong feelings when your spouse dies. In the first few days or weeks you may have been worn out with sadness and weeping. But what if sometimes you don’t feel anything? There may be times when you don’t miss your spouse. Does it mean you didn’t love each other as much […]
Respect for ourselves and for the one we care for is a central attitude to live and to be lived by. We simply do not, and will not, know the truth and fullness of anyone’s personal life, for it is hidden even as we live it. Then to be respectful is first to give up thinking that we know what others are essentially about, and second, it is something we can hold on to, like a railing, while we learn as we go.
We are an ageing society. As the general population ages, so do the members of our churches. The foundational members of our churches are experiencing chronic illness, dementia, physical limitations and isolation, and many are not able to physically join in the faith life of the community. We are all called as Christians to be […]