Grief Brief # 7
This grief note will invite us to focus on multiple losses that we might face as we grieve. These can occur under three separate circumstances. We will consider each of them.
When we lose a significant other we focus primarily upon the loss of an important person in our lives. Our grief can be centered solely upon the loss of that person. Yet, there are many other secondary losses that are connected with our principle loss. Here is how that happens.
Having lost a spouse, we soon recognize that we have perhaps lost a partner, a soul-mate, a friend. We miss the planning, discussing, and decision-making we may have done jointly. Many responsibilities carried during our lives together by the absent partner are now solely ours, whether we are ready for them or not.
When a child dies, no matter what his or her age may be, we feel the loss of being a guiding and caring parent. We feel that we have been robbed of sharing the dreams, pursuits, or the special events like graduations, weddings, job promotions etc. that could have occurred in that child’s life.
When losing a friend, we miss the special sharing and companionship that was ours. Many a life secret or plan was shared with that person who is now absent from our lives.
These added losses, although sometimes discounted, can add to the burden of grief and mourning that a person can experience.
Another aspect of multiple losses takes into account personal tragedies or crises we may face along with the primary loss. These multiple losses can include: a serious illness that befalls us or a person in our family; some grave misfortune that has come to the life of a friend or family member like serious financial troubles, the loss of a job, an accident, etc. Included in this list are the losses that are consequences of natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, or the like. In all of these circumstances our primary grief, surrounding the loss of a deceased loved one, must sometimes be placed on hold temporarily until the new imposing situations are handled. We will grieve for our lost loved one, but only after the crises or significant problems are dealt with and somewhat resolved.
A third aspect of multiple losses weighs upon us when people we have known and cared about for years begin to die. The causes may be aging, illness, catastrophic occurrences that involve many people (ex.9/11, a significant flood), or acts of violence like shootings, stabbings, riots, accidents, suicides, etc. There is a need to choose well how many of these circumstances will call forth our concern, compassion, and personal caring. The burden of our own grieving process will limit the amount of emotional energy that we can invest in any of these circumstances. When we have grieved and healed adequately, we will have the emotional strength and stamina to get more fully involved in caring and reaching out to others.
Thus we see, from what has been described, that grieving can be multi-faceted. Choosing well where our focus, our attention, and energies are placed is very important so that our own healing is not unduly interrupted. The call is to care for our own grieving selves so that we in time may be able to reach out to others in a loving and caring way.
Joseph P. Makowski, long time parishioner, died Thursday, March 9, 2017, after a long illness. A Memorial Mass is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 18, 2017, at St. Matthias the Apostle Church, 9475 Annapolis Rd., Lanham, MD 20706. The family will receive visitors from 12:00 – 1:00 PM before the Mass.
Bill Cooper, a long time parishioner, died last week. There will be a viewing at Saint Matthias Church on Tuesday, March 7th, from 10:00-11:00 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, followed by a burial at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Crownsville, MD, Please keep the family in your prayers.
Hazel Campbell, a long time parishioner, died this past week. There will be a viewing at St. Matthias Church on Saturday, March 4th, from 9:30-10:30 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 AM. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton, MD, following the service. Please keep the family in your prayers.
New applications for the Academy of St. Matthias are now being accepted. Please go to http://mytads.com/a/stmatthiasmd. The deadline to apply for financial aid is February 20, 2017. The financial aid application is on the website listed above. Questions? Please call the school office at 301-577-9412.
We invite you to help your parish save money by giving up your offertory envelopes this Lent! Enrolling with Faith Direct will provide St. Matthias the Apostle with consistent support and simplify your giving without the wasteful envelopes. Visit www.faithdirect.net and use our church code: MD41. Thank you for your continued support of our parish family.
God bless you,
The Parish Social Life Committee invites all members of our parish ministries to a reception as we celebrate the contributions of our volunteers. Join us for food, fun, and fellowship on Sunday, February 26, 2017, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM in the Hughes Center. Please RSVP to Pat Ford on later than Wednesday, February 22nd at 301-459-4814 x 201 or by email at email@example.com.
Today’s First Penance Service has not come about by happenstance. My sincere gratitude to Ms. Catherine Tolnay and all those who have instructed the youngsters who are well prepared. Let me share a 1st Confession story. A friend who has five children takes them to Confession once a month. When his youngest child, a lovely daughter, came back to the pew to be with her father, she knelt down in prayer. Dad was impressed until he sensed that his daughter was starting to cry. “What’s the matter?” She replied, “It’s what Father said to me.” “Tell me” Dad said. “She replied, “Well, he told me to say two Hail Mary prayers for my penance. (sob, sob) “What is wrong with that? You know the Hail Mary.” “Yes, she said, but I only know one Hail Mary and he said to say two!!!!!!
Today 30 of our young people will be making their 1st Penance or Reconciliation. It is a Pastor’s hope and prayer that this will be the first of many encounters for these youngster with the Mercy of God.
We ask that you keep Unchenna Nwokeafor, our African Choir director, and his wife Laura, in your prayers. Their three month old son, Ogemdi, died earlier this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this difficult time.