Tough Grief – Ignatian Spirituality

depressed woman sitting with hand over face - photo by Liza Summer via Pexels

A buddy of mine as soon as advised me that grief is hard. It envelops us in emotion once we count on it, like on birthdays and anniversaries. Nevertheless it additionally tends to sneak up once we least count on it, like on a random Tuesday afternoon.

No less than, that’s when it snuck up on me, on a Tuesday afternoon whereas I used to be sitting at my laptop typing an e-mail. I used to be ending up an enthusiastic response to somebody a few new alternative, and the thought popped into my head: “I ought to undoubtedly name Wally on the way in which dwelling to inform him about this. He’d actually love to listen to it.”

It took a pair minutes longer than it ought to for me to keep in mind that I couldn’t name him in any case. He had handed away only a few weeks earlier than from problems of most cancers.

I used to be so struck by that second. For a couple of minutes, it was like my buddy had by no means died. Then I immediately remembered, and that difficult grief flooded in and took my breath away.

What can we do when grief pops up unexpectedly and leaves us breathless? Right here’s what I did:

  • I paused in gratitude. I thought-about why that e-mail specifically had drawn me to need to speak to my buddy, and I thanked God for all of the conversations Wally and I had about comparable issues previously.
  • I advised God precisely what I used to be feeling. In a second of uncooked honesty, I advised God how a lot I missed my buddy and the way indignant I used to be that he was gone. I didn’t attempt to cowl up or qualify or push away what I was feeling.
  • I imagined God grieving with me. I reminded myself that when Lazarus died, Jesus wept, and it was most likely not the final time Jesus wept for or with one in every of us.
  • I shared the story with a buddy. I spotted that I used to be not the one one who missed Wally, and so I reached out to a buddy and let her know the way the second had struck me.

What helps each time grief unexpectedly hits is that I’ve a big toolbox within me full of Ignatian instruments like on the lookout for gratitude, having an sincere relationship with the God that suffers with me, and discovering good companions for the journey.

I owe that toolbox partly to Wally. He was one of many many Jesuits through the years which have helped me fill it. Could he relaxation in peace.

Photo by Liza Summer season through Pexels.

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