(quote) Roystan-340472 said: It's really not my place to be posting here as bereavement is not in my experience, but two things seem to stand out in in a serious pastoral situation such as this.
In the times when people ought to be available to help, God is usually helpless because he has no hands. God cannot pay bills, cook meals, fix cars and otherwise alleviate the strains of daily life. He cannot because St Teresa of Avila said so. And she said so, in that much quoted prayer of hers easily read from the Web, because, in faith we believe, God told her to say so. She is, after all, a Saint. As is already being done, the community of the widowed members of CM, need to tell Kerry in posts and private messages, about how to find the people to fill the gaps that God can't fill.
And yet, in those times when people ought to have been available but were missing in action, and for those times such as night time when 'people' are helpless to help because the widow or widower just has to endure being on his or her own, God is still usually helpless unless the widow or widower finds the internal strength and know-how to make God helpful. And how is, in this case, Kerry, to do this? Over to you, community of the widowed members of CM.
I'm posting this because in another post, to do with widows, widowers and their lost spouses who may be in Heaven, I said that in a sainted deceased spouse interceding, as saints do, with God for the welfare of the spouse left behind, the widow or widower left behind is on their own but not alone. Like oft-quoted exhortations to 'let go and let God', 'trust in God and don't worry' and statements of a similar ilk, my statement is simultaneously true and glib. It's like the Scriptures asking what is the point of saying to someone, "I wish you well. Stay warm and fed" without doing anything to help that person achieve those things. It's a paradox that the short, pithy statement of piety and faith designed, by its shortness and pithiness, to be uttered as an easily-remembered mantra by people to give solace to each other, can be both true and glib.
So, Kerry is not alone --- but only if there are people to help her. And when she is alone in those circumstances when people cannot (or do not make themselves available to) help her, she is not alone ---- but only if there are people to show her how to manage being alone. Otherwise, she really is alone.
Oh, but we say, God is usually helpless but when push comes to shove, he will help. Somewhere in the depths of the bereaved person's being, will come the assistance that is required. Really? God will definitely heal when it is both just and merciful to do so --- in the next life. Healing is always available when it is just and merciful to be so -- across the gulf. But if we presume that healing will always be available from God in this life, even when nobody helps, isn't this on a par with presuming the mercy of God in the next life? Something that ought not to be done? Aren't we presuming that, at the end of the day, there's always a safety net in this life? There's no need for a safety net in this life when there will, if justice and mercy allow, be one in the next, but charity is not making the widow or widower wait until the next life to find out --- or, in vulnerable cases, leaving them with no felt option but to make the journey to find out.
At the end of the day, God expects people to provide the practical and spiritual help. Over to you, community of the widows and widowers of CM, and thank you for your service.
Wow, that was extremely profound and one of the best things I've ever read on here, hands down. Thank you for posting it.
I read something on a catholic blog site from a widow that was talking about what she had needed and wanted in those first days, weeks and months after the death, and one thing really stood out to me. She said her friends had not only cooked meals and done those types of things, but they came and STAYED with her, sometimes for days, and some even slept in the suddenly way too big and scary bed with her the first couple of weeks. I would have died of gratitude had someone done that for me. But no one even offered to stay.
And after a couple weeks, people no longer wanted to hear about it,
This line from your post stood out greatly to me:
"charity is not making the widow or widower wait until the next life to find out --- or, in vulnerable cases, leaving them with no felt option but to make the journey to find out."
That's so true. So true. Often it's only something like the fear of being doomed to Hell if one were to take that step, or leaving underage kids behind, that keep us from doing this. But the pain is palpable.