This week, it is six months since my youngest brother died and it is only in the last two weeks that grief has loosened its dull and tight grip on my life. I cannot say how grateful I am for the kindness and understanding of so many. Not all griefs can be so public. I recently gave a talk to a group of women and when I mentioned the ‘M’ word, (miscarriage) the flicker of response across their faces underlined how widespread and real that grief is.
While we congratulate ourselves on how well we have handled COVID-19, we need pause and recognise the griefs it has brought with it. Yes, there are the obvious ones: deaths not reverenced as we would normally, marriages celebrated in tiny gatherings, grandchildren not held by loving grandparents. We need to be kind. And then there are the other griefs. My youngest sister has effectively lost her business of 25 years. She offered remedial massage in aged care facilities. Adored as she was by her clients, that work won’t be starting anytime soon. While she is bouncing back, looking for new work, still she grieves the loss of her achievement. My niece grieves that she couldn’t go to the pub for her 18th birthday. Yes, laugh, but it was real to her.
We have all lost something, you, your spouse, partner, parent, friend, children. And we need to be kind – to ourselves and to others. As we move into opening up, let us open up our hearts and think of little, realistic ways we can show our care to the many feeling sorrow or loss. We have been so good in how we handled COVID-19. Let us give the Holy Spirit a space to reveal the loving face of God through our care and kindness as we move out of our isolation.
Loving God, you know the grief within me and within those I love. Give me the wisdom to see how I can show kindness and give me the courage to move out of my comfort zone and show it. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb