Saying good-bye

A friend in our First Mennonite community lost her mother this week. That’s a strange expression we use to talk about someone who died, “we lost them”. It’s true that we no longer see them, they are missing, they are missed. But as Christians we believe that they are not at all lost, but living with God.

They may not be lost but they are certainly gone from our world, and the feelings we have when our parents die are lasting and deep. This is true whether the relationship with your parents is a good one or a troubled one. Our parents raised us, shaped us, influenced us, and hopefully loved us into who we are. When they die, we become bereft, untethered for a time, feeling disconnected from the generation that birthed us. We suddenly realize that we are the next generation to go!

I have seen that in times of grief, churches can shine. They can come together and offer help in very practical ways. They can walk alongside the grieving, who are re-living memories. The telling and re-telling of stories can flood us with big emotions, and we need companions for this journey to hold our hands. Churches can also place the death in a context of meaning within the life of faith, they can offer hope for a future reunion. We pray for the grieving, and ask for God’s comfort and strength.

This week’s prayer: Comfort our friend who is grieving, and all in our community who are missing loved ones. Give hope and faith as we wait for a reunion, in the fullness of your time. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who rose from the dead.

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