Family and Respect Life Contact:
Colleen Gerke x 2624
AFTER THE LOSS: LEARNING TO COPE
For every rainbow to be formed, you must have rain as well as constant sunshine, for constant sunshine makes a desert.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolations, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 2 Corninthians 1:3-4
So many emotions; so many highs; so many lows; sadness; strength; tears; bereavement; wonder; confusion; loneliness; emptiness; I can’t concentrate; all of these feelings and more accompany the person in the loss of a loved one.
Everyone experiences grief differently. Some hold it in; others try to get rid of it by letting it out. Regardless of how grief affects a person, it always hurts. Thankfully, grief is not a permanent state, but rather a process one goes through as a means of coping with loss.
It is important to understand grief and its effects while you’re grieving. Understanding leads to acceptance, and acceptance leads to healing. Grieving does not make you weak. It makes you strong. The first step in dealing with grief is accepting its existence. Once you’ve acknowledged its presence, you can begin getting through it.
WHERE THERE’S LIFE, THERE’S GRIEF….
The death of a loved one is not the only occasion for grief. Experiencing loss is a normal part of living, and grief is the normal human response to loss. In fact, when we experience a significant loss and don’t grieve, we can suffer emotional, physical, and even spiritual harm.
Here are some less heralded but still significant losses in daily life which may cause grief:
When people move; the loss of a job; retirement; illness; child goes off to school; divorce; loss of a home from fire, tornado, or flood; rape; and many more.
DO WE NEED TO GET HELP?
Beginning Experience for those widowed, divorced or separated:
Please visit the link below for individual Grief Support groups for those suffering a loss of a young child, teen, parent or spouse:
Some people have a great support system with their family, friends and neighbors. Others feel very alone and struggle daily to go on. If you are the latter, you will probably need to seek help and counseling.
STARTING YOUR OWN BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY IN YOUR PARISH
There is a Parish Bereavement Network, a regional group of parish leaders (north of I-275, West Chester area) who will assist a parish team in establishing a Bereavement Ministry that goes beyond preparing liturgy and providing a meal. Contact Karen Gottschall at 513.398.3821, ext. 3112 for more information. A number of parishes within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have successful bereavement programs that have been in existence for a number of years. Parishes might also consider providing a book rack in the church with Care Notes, Mental Health Brochures dealing with grief and its aftermath, Bereavement Magazines, Bereavement Care, etc.