MAY 5, 2020
"GRIEF CAN'T BE CANCELLED"
Christians & Coronavirus:
Staying Connected in Christ
GRIEF CAN'T BE CANCELLED
The COVID-19 virus is preventing a lot of things from going on right now. It is putting a hold on many activities, but one thing it cannot stop is grief. Grief is that one feeling that sometimes consumes us. It can blindside you. Sometimes you may feel like you are losing your mind. And then there are those times when you might feel like you are seeing that loved one. You Might hear his or her voice. You might feel him or her brush by you while walking down the hall in your home. Or get that faint scent of the perfume or after shave that he or she wore. It is all a part of this thing that sometimes just wants to take over your life.
Our St. Andrew Grief Support Group has been active for almost 10 years now. It is mostly spouses who have lost their husband or wife, but is always opened to anyone who is grieving a loss. One thing that these surviving spouses have dealt with throughout the quarantine is loneliness. Not having that loved one to talk to or to share a cup of coffee with or to share a memory with. You read the paper and turn to ask him or her a question only to realize they are not there. You get a piece of mail in his or her name and break down. The phone rings and you think it is probably him or her calling...and then reality hits. But one thing our Grief Support Group has is each other. Throughout this period of staying in and not going out, we have maintained contact with phone calls, text messages, emails, and notes in the mail.
And Monday, we shared lunch. And we prayed together. We began by thanking God for bringing us together. We prayed for our deceased loved ones. We asked Him to bless St. Andrew Parish, to take care of Father Chris and Father Cordier as they both leave us for a new adventure and for Deacon Tim as he faces these new challenges with us. We thanked God for bringing us this far through the quarantine and asked Him to take care of those who are suffering from this in any way. We prayed for those who have died from this disease and we prayed for those people who now could join our group. A group no one ever wants to join, but a group that we are all thankful to have when we need it.
We met in the parking lot at church and brought our own lunches and lawn chairs and shared our time with each other as we maintained the required distance. We were able to see how long and grey everyone’s hair had grown. We laughed and there were tears. Everyone in the group is at a different stage in their grief. Some 10 years, some 10 months, so the needs are different for everyone and we take all of that into account. But what is the same is the sharing and the caring. We share time and tears and laughs and carrot sticks and stories. We do what we can to comfort one who is experiencing the first anniversary of her husband’s death today while we are together. We share the heartbreak of one who has lost her 17-year-old dog through this period, the dog who she remembers sharing with her husband before he died and she had to leave her home. We share our feelings and our frustrations. We help one who has “celebrated” that 50th anniversary alone, without her spouse or her family around. We find that one member has two people in her family suffering with this disease while alone in the hospital and no one can see them.
COVID-19 will not stop any of this. It may prevent hugs, some very much needed, but it can’t stop the love and care and support that we have for one another in the St. Andrew Grief Support Group.
St. Andrew Parishioner & Grief Support Group Organizer