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These are faith-building articles for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and seeking hope in their bereavement.
Hope Amidst Loss and Bereavement
- When Jesus Comes To Take Our Loved One Home
This WordByte is a multi-media reflection that will bring healing in the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one. I wrote it after my dad had an accident with life and death consequences. Because I had to face the loss of my father during the Season of Advent, the Holy Spirit ministered to me by inspiring me with the true meaning of Advent: Jesus comes!
- When a Loved One Leaves Us
Grief fills our hearts when a loved one leaves us, whether through death or abandonment or simply by moving to a new town. We can all identify with the grief of the disciples in John 16:5-11. They had suffered the loss of Jesus when he was crucified. And now, after his fantastic resurrection, they had to say good-bye again.
- Our Three Angels
Because our babies died shortly after birth, I have gone through a lot of grief, but I feel very blessed, because God has given us three angels who are praying for my husband and me every day. I call them our angels because they lived on this earth for such as short time, and while they were here, they truly served as God’s messengers.
- Jesus Called Me Home Today
Mommy and Daddy, I could not stay
because Jesus called me home today.
I know you’re unable to understand why,
but please let me comfort you. It’s O.K. to cry.
God had a special plan you see….
A plan that included both of you and me.
I was created because of your love
and God’s loving hand reaching down from above.
- A letter for one who is mourning
The following letter was written by someone who understands the mourning you are feeling from the loss of your loved one.
Dearest suffering one:
To apologize as people often do when someone passes away would be futile. My sympathy extends to you for the passing of your dear one.
- Dealing with our losses
What loss are you mourning? How well do you handle losses — of any sort? Jesus wants to comfort you, but he has a strange way of doing it. We should reflect on Mary Magdalene’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. … And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: “Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.” – Pope St. Gregory the Great (from a sermon on St. Mary Magdalene)
- Experiences with the Communion of Saints
The following are true stories about the Communion of Saints. They are the testimonies of real people who have experienced miraculous touches of love after a dear one has gone home to be with Jesus.
- Eyes that see beyond the grave
Would you like to have eyes that see beyond the grave and feel connected to loved ones who have passed? Open yourself more to the Holy Spirit and you’ll open the door of love that keeps you always connected to those who love you. All of us are blind in some way. But when we die, any blindness we’ve had is healed.
- Handling the holidays
It’s very normal and strongly tempting to quit or reduce celebrating a holiday, such as Christmas, that can no longer be the same because a loved one will be missing. Is it right to celebrate after a dear one has passed away? Let’s turn the question around and ask: Is the loved one really missing, or is he/she still part of the holiday?
- Eternity is near and not far away
When our loved ones die, they do not leave us. They do not go away to some dark and distant place. They simply begin their eternity. We do not see them because we are still in the darkness of the world. But their spiritual eyes, filled with the light of heaven, are always watching us as they wait for the day when we shall share their perfect joy. We are all born for heaven and one by one, we end this life of tears to begin our life of love in endless happiness.
- Experiences with babies in the Communion of Saints
The following are true stories. They are the testimonies of parents who have felt the pain that comes when a child dies before birth or soon after. Here’s how they discovered what it means to have babies in the Communion of Saints. “I have lost several babies during pregnancy. The first were twin boys at 20 weeks gestation, Tyler and Timothy. It was a horrible experience, and it took me a very long time to work through my grief….”
- The miracle of the rose
Nothing that happens to us is by chance. Every “coincidence” is a little miracle. On the event of my first birthday since the passing of my father, I asked the Lord for a gift from my Dad. I asked Him to allow my Dad to give me something through His love. Then my brother ended up in the hospital. As I arrived home after spending the day in the hospital, I thought, “Lord, was that my gift?” What kind of gift is that?
- The photo on the porch after my Dad passed away
A few months after my Dad passed away, I asked God to share His love with me and give me what I so desperately wanted to feel: to touch my father, to hold him again. I knew that was not physically possible, yet the need was so overwhelming. God responded in my heart by assuring me that Dad is with Him and he is okay. I prayed, “Lord, please give me something.”
- The privilege of witnessing a death
This might sound strange, but on Friday October 22, 2010, I had the privilege of witnessing the death of a priest. Msgr. John Scully was an 86-year-old priest who said no to the bishop when told he should retire to an assisted living facility. Instead, he sought out a rectory to share in a parish that would still want him to give the gifts of his priesthood. My pastor was the first (perhaps the only one) to respond to his request.
- Where are the words for the grieving?
When sudden death or tragic death occurs, we sometimes get lost in feelings of guilt, anger, puzzlement, betrayal by God, etc. These feelings cause many Christians to fall away from the Church or to cut themselves off from God, because they think He should have prevented such deaths. What words can you say to the grieving to help them feel God’s closeness?
- Do pets go to heaven?
Question from a reader: “My wife and I had to put our beloved precious dog, Cosmo, to sleep. He was in end stage liver disease. He was 12 years and almost 4 months old. I have a questions for you. Where do our dogs go after they die? Will we ever see them again?” God loves all of creation, and Christ redeems all of creation. This includes our pets. Pope Paul VI was said to have once told a distraught boy whose dog had died: “One day…
- What is Heaven really like? (video)
This podcast episode was inspired when Terry Modica and her husband, Ralph, went to the funeral of a neighbor who was a Jehovah’s Witness. The description of Heaven that they heard from the leader of the congregation was not one that we want to believe in. Terry is joined by Ralph to explain why. Here’s a much better description of the afterlife based on the teachings of the Catholic Faith and the Bible.