Thought For The Week
De mortuis nil nisi bonum' ~Old Latin Phrase
The above phrase translates as 'say nothing but good about those who have died.' The same phrase goes back many hundreds of years but one that is full of wisdom and insight. As we continue to remember those who have died during this month of November, we are encouraged to think only of their goodness and love.
Is this not hypocritical? Not so. If we are made in the image of God then God's goodness and love can be seen in every human person. By concentrating on their goodness we are in some way connecting with God's love and goodness. Remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died can be sad and lonely. But it can also give us encouragement to keep going and especially when we miss them the most. Their goodness and love becomes our inspiration.
My own Dad Con died back in April at the height of the first lockdown. Back then we were only allowed 10 into the church for the funeral Mass. It was an extremely difficult time and it was hard to grieve with all the normal grieving supports cut off. The journey of grief is a slow one but one we must take one step at a time.
Often its the little things that can throw you. This week I was doing a bit of tidying up and cleaning out shelves that can build up with books, letters and magazines. I came across a magazine with the words written by my Dad across the front cover: 'I will bring the paper today.' It was written some years ago but I obviously had left the magazine on the kitchen table and he used it to write his simple message down.
What moved me was seeing his handwriting. It was only a few words but knowing I would never see that handwriting again was my moment this week. There will probably be another moment tomorrow or maybe next week. Once we are open to these moments and open to where the journey of grief will take us, then I think we will be ok. I also get a strong sense that our nearest and dearest who have gone on before us are near us, minding us and protecting us.
I am also aware of so many families in similar situations who have had to grieve so differently this year. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself this November, take your time to grieve, be ready for the unexpected moments, be grateful for the many happy memories and feel the support and love of those most important in your life right now.
Thought For The Week is updated each Monday