Death of a Loved One

Section: 
prayers

 DEATH OF A LOVED ONE / PRAYER OPTIONS  

   
Pain—
Not sharp
Like the clean slash of a keen-edged knife,
But dull,
Aching,
The tender touch of bruise
That throbs beneath the skin—
Yet does not surface
And for the hiding
Hurts the more.
Burning,
Like the sting of unshed tears that struggle for the easing comfort of
Release.
 
It takes so little—
The flashing vision of a face
Remembered,
Laughing,
And my face responds
With aching jaws that clench to hold back
Trembling tears.
A sound,
A thought
That calls to mind some word that was so much a part of
You
And my throat aches with cries that want to call your name,
Only to know—
Deep Down—
That calling cannot bring you back.
 
How long does loving hurt?
And when does aching cease?
As long as memory can recall
And say with love
I knew you well—
And knowing—
Cannot quell the
Love
Nor ease the
Ache,
But only grasp that having loved,
My heart can bear the
Pain.
 

                                                               
Sr. Ann Marie Slavin, OSF

 
 
_________________________
 
 
O God, I grieve, I ache, and yet I am numb. I feel the sadness of loss—never to be with ______again on this earth, never to laugh with him/her again, to hear that voice which was so familiar that I sometimes took for granted.
I feel the ache of longing. I, too, want to see your face, to be with you in your embrace. And yet, not yet.
 
And how do I go beyond numb, the grief and yet not feeling anything? I feel the loneliness, emptiness, loss. I am numb and exhausted from all of this. I have no resources for grief, at least, not on my own.
So, with the psalmist, I lift up my eyes to you. I need and depend on you, my God. You are the One who holds _______ in your embrace and you are the One who holds me. Hold me together to your glory. Amen.
 
 
_________________________
 
 
Joy…
That bursts and flames,
That pulses
With each living breath that newness takes
Is stilled…
Silenced…
By a pain that also lives
And breathes,
That throbs
And pulses
With a motion close akin to joy…
A joy-pain,
Tender—
Like a bruise that hurts to touch,
Purpled—
By a tightness that cannot find release outside of life.
Then comes a voice—
Quiet,
Gentle—
A look
Whose knowing depth unleashes frozen tears,
Whose touch spells
Words
And worlds
That parting cannot sever,
Whose hand leads
Onward,
Homeward,
Heartward
To a sense of peace,
Whose being is the
Promise
And the presence
Of a gentle God.
 

Sr. Ann Marie Slavin, OSF