Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning to just listen...

Today I got a phone call from one of my soul sisters. She called me in distress about losing a loved one. Its a phone call such as that one that makes me wish I knew just what to say to others when they are going through a grieving process. I am seriously considering to do my ministry in Bereavement Counseling. I believe that losing a loved one changes our life and sometimes can take us into dark places. The idea of not having a shoulder to lean on during such a difficult time is something no one should ever experience. I am grateful to God that I was able to be on the other side of the telephone line to listen to her. Sometimes even just listening helps. Our conversation made me get up, get dressed, and attend mass. I felt that I had to be present and at least show up to prayer and peace on behalf of my soul sister who is grieving over the lost of a loved one.

One of the things I thought about today was this idea of co-survivors. Sometimes the person who has passed away may not be anyone we are close to but they meant the world to someone who we were very close to. It is almost like when someone goes through trauma, the people closest to that person will also feel repercussions of that trauma through their loved one. They experience the anger, the loss, and the hurt in their own way. This is why I believe that building fellowship is so important. I believe everyone should have a place where they can go to for encouragement and support. A place where they will feel safe, loved, and not alone. I am grateful that I've been blessed with a great circle of family and friends that I can call home because wherever they are that is where home is. I know we can come together whether its just over the phone to pray, or to light a candle for one another. It makes me think of the way Jesus felt over his friend Lazarus, and although we won't be able to bring back to life someone who is physically gone, we do have the power to uplift their co-survivors. We also have the power to feel deeply connected to our loved ones passed when we remember them with love.

"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said, 'Lord, Come and see.' Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, 'Behold, how He loved Him!"
John 11:33-36

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20

Be Still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10


jessie said...

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

tina matilde said...

It's interesting that you're interested in bereavement counseling. I recently joined the Bereavement Ministry at my parish which has been struggling for volunteers and I'm also a volunteer at a local non-profit that provides grief services to children and adults throughout the county.

The concept of the co-survivor is new to me but I appreciated the thought and reflection upon Jesus and Lazarus. It is beautiful, yet difficult area in which to serve but I'm sure you will thrive and have much to offer should you choose to follow that path towards bereavement counseling.

Rose will be Rose said...

Wow its great that your parish has a Bereavement Ministry. My parish does not have one and I feel a bit compelled to begin one even though I imagine it is a very difficult area to serve. If I choose to do it I hope you don't mind if I ask you for some pointers ; )

The concept of co-survivors comes from my volunteer work with the SAVI Program of Mt. Sinai New York. Not only did I advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence but also for their co-survivors which were the family and friends that came into the emergency room with them. Its tough to work with trauma survivors but I believe it is what ultimately led me to social work.

I am glad you enjoyed the reflection..I often try to look at the experiences in my life in a spiritual way. Thanks for your comment : )

tina matilde said...

My parish has a bereavement ministry, but unfortunately it hasn't been the most active ministry in the last couple of years. The people who were the leaders in that ministry retired and moved away and noone took on that role and fell onto our very small parish staff. We're currently working on getting it back up and running. If you do choose to do it we can help one another as our ministries grow.

Working with victims of sexual and domestic abuse is something that I have been drawn to for sometime. I recently applied as a volunteer with a local organization that works with that population. Now I'm waiting to hear back. That is truly difficult yet very necessary work and I commend you for your work.

I think I might write a blog about it today, but listening to the silence, or rather making the effort do so, has been the theme for this week for me. You truly are an inspiration both in faith and in works.

Thank you.

Hil said...

I'm sure speaking with you helped her in her healing process. you were blessed with a gift and its great for you to pursue it!