Saturday, April 11th, 2020
Today is Saturday, the day after Jesus’ crucifixion and there is grief and loss. The grieving process is different for each person though the stages of it remain relatively the same. From my personal experience grief has had an ebb and flow rhythm to it. Time has helped and the missing is always there, I’m ok with that because I’m no longer afraid of the missing. I have beautiful memories and my heart is full. Rev. Sam talks about the Jewish practice of Shiva when someone dies. And in her devotional today she shares her personal story of loss on page 47. When people are grieving is not the words or the things people say and do, it’s their presence that makes all the difference.
Below is an excerpt from an article I found online at: https://reformjudaism.org/practice/lifecycle-and-rituals/death-mourning/everything-you-need-know-about-jewish-custom-shiva
“The psychological brilliance of Judaism is apparent in its carefully ritualized structure for dealing with grief. The open expression of sorrow is part of the process, even encouraged. Yet, beginning with the family’s arrival at home after burial, a process begins that leads the bereaved gently but firmly back to life and the world of the living.”
“The first stage in this gradual process of healing is called shiva. The period of shiva is intended to see mourners through the first days of intense grief and disorientation; Jewish tradition recognizes that grief continues long after shiva and offers additional rituals to support mourners beyond this initial period of grief.”
Today, let us be mindful of life and death. Our world is currently in the midst of a horrible pandemic and thousands have died due to the illness. Let us lift up in prayer to God all those grieving the loss of a loved one, a beloved member of someone’s family. I recently found out that a family member of mine had lost her husband of 21 years. I cannot attend the service and many people who want to cannot due to the current limitations surrounding COVID-19 and social distancing. As soon as I heard the news I reached out to family members to give me condolences. In times like this we often feel helpless but that is so not true. We always have our prayers, God will hear our prayers. He is our Rock and our Redeemer. I know my cousins will be ok, they believe in God and in His Love. We all know that Dave is with the Lord and we will see him again. The grieving is…our hearts will miss him.
“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”
—C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Be in contact with someone grieving. If you need words, try: “God is with you. So am I. What do you need?”
ειρήνη – “Peace” in Greek, reference listed below.