LOSS IN THE PANDEMIC.
SOME THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO HELP IN DEALING WITH IT.
SOME THOUGHTS FROM THE MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION, AND SOME PRAYERS. During the coronavirus outbreak we have all been through enormous change, and some of us are experiencing loss of different types, including the profound loss experienced when someone close to us dies.
During the pandemic, all of us have been affected one way or another by changes brought about by loss of our personal freedom. This may be adjusting to the loss of not being able to go where we choose, or coping with the loss in our income or job.
At this time, we have lost valuable aspects of our social connections with others, such as hugs and handshakes, social activities and simply sharing the same physical space with friends and relatives who are not with us in lockdown.
More tragically, SOME OF US MAY BE COPING WITH THE DEATH OF SOMEONE CLOSE TO US. This loss could have been compounded by not being able to be with the person whom you love when they die.
C.S. LEWIS DESCRIBED HIS GRIEF ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE AS FEELING LIKE FEAR:
‘No-one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid – the same fluttering of stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says.’
It is a time of trying to make sense of the change our losses bring, whatever they are. IT IS ABOUT ADJUSTING TO OUR ‘NEW NORMAL’. This can be a very difficult time.
A FEW THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP WITH CHANGE, LOSS AND BEREAVEMENT
Allow yourself space to be with the feelings you are experiencing.
You may find it useful to talk with someone about your feelings,
a phone call or video call with a friend,
or sometimes you may just want to be alone with your feelings.
Writing down your feelings might be helpful.
Remind yourself that with any loss and change, difficult feelings will follow.
There is no time limit to grief.
Take care of yourself; eat properly, take some exercise,
get some sleep.
Take care of your spirit – prayer, meditation,
or just going out for a walk might be helpful.
Make a random act of kindness to make you and someone else feel better.
Do something that is going to make you feel good.
Try something new,.
We Bereaved Are Not Alone - Helen Keller
We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world,
the company of those who have known suffering.
When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne,
let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted
into which our grief has given us entrance,
and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms,
their sympathy, their understanding. Believe, when you are most unhappy,
that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain,
life is not in vain.
The Existence Of Love - Marjorie Pizer
I had thought that your death
was a waste and destruction,
a pain of grief hardly to be endured.
I am only beginning to learn
that your life was a gift and a growing
and a loving left with me.
The desperation of death
destroyed the existence of love
but the existence of death
cannot destroy what has been given.
I am looking at your life again
instead of your death and departing,
A prayer before silence
we seek your presence in the silence beyond words
looking to you for comfort,
strength, protection and reassurance;
breathing with gratitude,
holding on to hope,
trusting with faith,
that you are still God
in the midst of the turmoil;
and that your love reaches to the ends of the earth.
Be present with us now. Amen.
For all those who woke this morning to the loneliness of bereavement - the empty bed or chair, an unaccustomed quietness, a life now incomplete - may they know your presence in the stillness of the day, and through the love of friends who offer their condolence. And in the darker moments may they reach out to hold your hand and feel the warmth of the One who has already passed from death to life to welcome others into God’s Kingdom.
Embrace in your loving arms, Lord, all who are grieving the loss of family and loved ones through tragic circumstance; where lives are in turmoil, hope turns to despair and pain is all that’s felt. Be with them in their sorrow, uphold them with your strength, and through the generosity of love shown by others
and your presence within their hearts may they know they are not alone in their struggle through today.
Thank you for the lives of all those loved ones who,
whilst no longer walking beside us or holding our hand along life’s journey as once they did, live on in the collective memory of those they have left behind. Enjoy their company, Loving God until we shall meet again. Amen.