Father Baumgartner

Here is a thought from last week’s homily:  To continue with the image – God has made us like colored pencils, to be the color of beauty in the world. Where there is haltered, we color the world with love; injury, pardon; doubt, faith; despair, hope; light, darkness.

I have been aware lately of how often I meet people who are grieving. For sure this includes all of us who have lost a loved one. We also grieve for other reasons. The loss of a job, a child goes off to college, diminished physical ability in yourself or a loved one, the loss of a friendship, the death of a dream; these are just a few examples of the on-going, often ever-present process of grieving.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are predictable stages of the grief process. We do not experience them in a linear way, nor do we work through them once and then we are done with them.

When a young person dies, grandparents are willing to bargain with God—take me, not him! Sometimes people get stuck in anger—they are mad at God, and they don’t want to pray. 

When we hear news of the death of a loved one, the first reaction is denial, “NO!” “This can’t be happening.” A funeral director shared with me that he encourages the family to make the phone calls to arrange for the pallbearers. Why? Because the more they tell of the story of the death the less likely they are to deny it.

Memorial Day is about a month away. Most of us will visit a cemetery. We will clean up grave sites and decorate them with flowers and memorabilia. I don’t know who…someone will set a golf ball on my dad’s marker, and sometimes a tomato and a miniature bottle of Scotch. I am sure the last item is against cemetery regulations. These are all ways to accept again the loss of our loved ones and to work our way through whatever stage of grief we will happen to be in on May 30, 2022.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and may perpetual light shine upon them. Peace be with you.