As we share this Grief Brief (#13), we will look at the concept of change. Grief and the healing it brings will cause our hearts, minds, and souls to change with the changes that can aid us in moving forward with our lives.
Most people, especially those in the middle and latter phases of life, would prefer stability without a lot of change. They seek the “tried and tested” as opposed to innovation. When we grieve, however, change is imposed upon our lives. This occurs not in radical ways that diminish who we are, but in ways that develop new aspects of our person and lives.
Many authors who write about grief, loss, and the grieving process refer to the term “the new normal” which points to the adulterations that grief imposes and must be slowly accepted. As we describe these we learn:
• Grieving requires that a person look at one’s attitude each day that grief is unfolding. Beginning a given day with an attitude of pessimism sets the tone for the whole day. When one is convinced that nothing will go well and that sadness will pervade the whole day, that is exactly how things will play out. Questioning how one can go on without that special person makes going forward more difficult. A special prayer, an inspiring quote, a bit of soft music, or a request to one’s Higher Power for strength can adjust a negative attitude to be a more hopeful one.
• Reviewing one’s priorities while grieving can also lead one to consider needed changes. Formerly, one’s job or status, one’s income and personal pursuits were the major focus, whereas in the world of grief these priorities become less important. What becomes important, however, is one’s faith or spirituality, one’s God, one’s close family, good friends who will support and listen, one’s health, and a life that will bring purpose and meaning once the healing of grief has occurred.
• Going through grief’s emotional pain, loneliness, and sadness provides the opportunity to grow in strength, wisdom, and new insights. When one undertakes what was considered difficult or impossible and succeeds self-confidence is sparked. Navigating through necessary paperwork, finances, garden and household chores decision-making, etc. can challenge feelings of ineptitude and bring a sense of achievement, as well as pride. One also changes and grows as one seeks to discover a sense of purpose and meaning for one’s life. As healing completes the major part of the grief process there is a sensed need to reach out in caring to others in a meaningful way. All of the new pursuits and changes in the lives of grieving people are exactly what their deceased loved ones would wish for them.
As this grief note concludes I would like to inform my readers of an up-coming “Pre-Holiday Workshop” that will be offered at St. Matthias school on the Saturday before Thanksgiving (10 AM – 12 Noon). The session will assist grieving persons to face the holiday season with some degree of ease and grace. All will be welcome to attend.
Parish Social Life Committee
Thanks to all parishioners who participated and contributed to the successful Installation of Fr. Jack as Pastor of St. Matthias Church. A special thanks to all members of the PSLC for hosting another successful event. Our next meeting is Friday, October 6, 2017, at 6:30 PM, in the Hughes Center.
Viewing: St Matthias Church—-Friday, Sep, 22, 2017, 2.00PM to 4.00PM and 6.00PM to 8.00PM
Funeral Mass: St Matthias Church—-Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, 10.00AM
Repast: St Matthias Hughes Center directly after Mass
Cemetery: Resurrection, Clinton, Maryland.
Donation: Make donations to St. Matthias Church in lieu of Flowers
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Scabis family.
Friday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 PM: Viewing at St. Matthias the Apostle Church
Saturday, September 16, 10:00 – 11:00 AM: Viewing at St. Matthias the Apostle Church
Saturday, September 16, 11:00 AM: Mass of Christian Burial at St. Matthias the Apostle Church; Interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton, MD.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to:
St. Matthias the Apostle Catholic Church
9475 Annapolis Rd.
Lanham, MD 20706
Domestic Church Day: Strengthening the Family with Mary will be held Saturday, September 23rd, from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Join us for a bilingual Mass with Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, a multilingual rosary and other devotionals, catechesis for adults, children, and a talk for teens. Cost is $10 for adults. For registration and further information, go to www.domesticchurchday.eventbrite.com.
A National Day of Prayer for Peace will be held on Saturday, September 9th, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, 410 Addison Road South, Seat Pleasant, MD 20743. Msgr. Ray East is the celebrant and homilist. Rosary begins and 11:30 a.m., followed by Mass at 12:00 p.m. A reception will be held after Mass.
This weekend’s second collection will be for The Catholic University of America AND for the victims of hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Please give generously.
As we face grief and the grieving process it is important to be aware that we are holistic human beings. Consequently, grief will affect the physical, emotional, and spiritual components of who we are.
Persons who ignore the need to grieve may sometimes be alerted by some physical problems that erupt. It is not unusual that chronic physical ailments like back issues, digestive problems, unstable blood pressure or diabetes are exacerbated by the stress of loss. This is so especially when the need to grieve a significant loss is ignored.
In this grief brief we will look at the spiritual part of our being. It is certainly affected and stirred by loss. Persons who have a strong relationship with their God or Higher Power will lean more heavily upon the comfort and strength that that relationship provides. When human strength, expended by grieving, begins to exhaust, there is a turning to the Divine for the help needed to cope and heal in this long, difficult process that we call “grief”.
Some may have the relationship with their Divine Power shaken by the loss. This can occur when prayers have been forthcoming, asking for a cure, a turn-around in the illness, or just more time with the loved one. When that doesn’t happen and death does occur, there may be disappointment and even anger that divine intervention was not available. These outcomes may well be reversed in time as the grieving person comes to realize that divine guidance and help are real needs as one grieves.
Persons who don’t profess adherence to an established religious group, church, or sect may pursue some other source of needed comfort and strength as they grieve. They may turn to a mentor, a wise and admired friend, or to books that have always provided them with inspiration and needed wisdom. Others may explore the spiritual principles that they have upheld throughout their lives to be the roadmap or guide for moving forward in grief
No matter what the source, when spiritual needs are felt, grieving persons can reach for the spiritual guidance and support they need to help them to better cope with their grief and loss.
As mentioned in the last Grief Brief, I would once again like to extend to any persons who have experienced loss and are grieving, the invitation to join the Grief Support Group that is held weekly at St. Matthias the Apostle Parish. The group will resume its weekly sessions on the second Saturday of September (9/9/17) and new members are welcomed. The group meets in the school library (St. Matthias School) at 9 AM. The address is 9475 Annapolis Road in Lanham, MD 20706. If anyone would like more information feel free to contact: Miriam Jacik, the Grief Coordinator at (301) 345-6054.
Save the Date
Saint Matthias the Apostle parish invites you to join us as we celebrate the installation of Father Jack Kennealy as pastor on Sunday, September 17th at the 6:00 PM Mass. Father Jack will be installed by Cardinal Wuerl.
After the Mass, the Parish Social Life Committee will host a reception with light refreshments in Friendship Hall. All are welcome.
Services for Mabel Jones will be held at St. Matthias the Apostle Church, 9475 Annapolis Rd., Lanham, MD 20706:
Viewing and visitation with the family will be held Monday, August 21, from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 12:00 PM. Burial will take place at Fort Lincoln Cemetery.
We offer our condolences to the family.