It Is Okay to Grieve
It Is Okay to Grieve
Everyone has a story, and everyone’s story matters. We don’t know what people are carrying in their hearts. And often, perhaps we don’t allow people to know what we are carrying either.
Sometimes we run in fear and shame. Other times, we simply have a heavy heart due to the great losses that occur throughout life.
Will we learn to trust again? Will we learn to grow again? Will we come out stronger on the other side?
It is okay to grieve.
The family whose child was rushed to the hospital unresponsive.
The woman who is wondering if she will ever be a mother.
The man who later regrets pressuring his girlfriend into getting an abortion.
The child who simply doesn’t believe that they could ever be loved.
The person who simply couldn’t outrun the demons of their past life.
The list goes on.
Nonetheless, every story still matters.
They are our loved ones.
They are our family.
They are us.
When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.
What can we do with suffering if escaping it is inevitably impossible?
We can give it back to our Lord Jesus Christ, who can come to us and comfort us in those dark times.
The Saints who suffered first were able to model that for us. It’s not that their stories matter more, for all suffering is suffering, and every story matters. But they can be profound models for us about the trust that we could have in God… to carry us through. If not through the suffering of this world, then to carry us over the chasm into the next chapter of our life, where the joy may be experienced in ways never fathomed before.
It is possible.
As a friend was attending a Healing Mass on the World Day of the Sick this year, he described how the weight of the world bore down on him. He was overcome by just how much suffering there was. As the priest approached to lay hands on his head, he described how his hope was that any healing or graces conferred to him in that moment could be passed-forward to all those who needed it. And in his mind, he was running through the list of names, trying to make sure that God knew his intentions.
Then the priest laid his hands on his head. His mind immediately calmed. And in that moment, he said the Blessed Virgin Mary was there. Not visible and not talking, but somehow he knew. She was there, not directly in front, but a little to the side. And then God the Father spoke to my friend’s heart, saying this: “There is enough mercy and love for all of them… and more.” In that moment, my friend recounted how all anguish and weight was lifted off of Him, and trust was restored to know that despite the suffering, God’s love was sustaining him, and everyone else who was suffering and struggling to find light in the darkness.
Again, “There is enough mercy and love for all of them… and more.”
I will never forget my friend telling me this. I hope that we all might find peace in remembering it, especially when the weight of the world becomes seemingly unbearable. Even in those times, God is with us.
Note: My friend did not want to go public with his name. This story truly belongs to him, but he has okayed it for use if it be for the good of souls.
Hudson Byblow is a Catholic speaker, author, and consultant who lives in the Midwest where he has a career in education. He has presented at National and International conferences in the United States and Canada and also presents to clergy, schools and parishes. Additionally, Hudson serves as a consultant to various Catholic agencies, speakers and educators. His website is www.hudsonbyblow.com and he can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.