SOLACE: Soul + Grief

The Healing Power of Love in Grief

January 12, 2024 Candee Lucas Season 3 Episode 2
SOLACE: Soul + Grief
The Healing Power of Love in Grief
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever been caught in the throes of grief, only to find that love and spirituality seem to be missing from the conversation? That's a gap we intend to bridge in this episode, as I, Candi Lucas, reflect on a podcast that left me yearning for a deeper exploration of the role of love in healing from grief. Drawing from the teachings of Jesus on love, we'll delve into death anxiety and how to find solace in God's presence amidst loss.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, or follow us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose, California.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

You can reach us at: ccoutreach@dsj.org
To arrange personal spiritual direction:  408-359-5542


Our theme music is:  Gentle Breeze by Yeti Music from the album "Uppbeat".
Additional Music and sound effects today by:   via Pixabay

Candee:

Welcome to Solace: Soul + Grief. We are brought to you by Catholic Cemeteries in the Diocese of San Jose. My name is Candee Lucas. We know the death of a loved one is a huge life transition and we've learned it creates and affects so many other losses in our lives. We at Catholic Cemeteries wanted to offer you this place to grieve and find where God is moving in your life as you grieve. Each week we take a new scripture or reflection and seek to find a quiet place in our hearts, together to contemplate our losses, honor our loved ones and remember God's place in our hearts. We seek to make a continuing connection with those we've lost. We want to find that space where God is moving with us in our grief, where mourning can be transformed to comfort, where our hearts might be reopened and begin to mend, where tears can flow, for it's when we open our hearts we realize that we've made new space for more love, more compassion and more humanity in our lives, and more space for God as well. This is a space we hope Solace will begin to fill for you. Please join us if you're suffering or just want to spend more time having God move with you in your grief. You are always welcome in our circle of healing, love and support.

Candee:

Part of my job on this podcast is to keep track of what's going on in the world grief-wise, to be aware of the local grief groups in our community, things online --resources that I can recommend to you and others. Currently I'm listening to a podcast and it's two women. They're 40-ish and they both have MSWs and they're professional grief counselors and they've been running this website for quite a When I originally found it I really liked a lot of their material because it was very forward and not a lot of janky language or medical language-- guilt talk. Both of these women suffered loss of a parent at an early age and I think that might have been what both brought them together and what informed their professional lives. One of the reasons I don't recommend this podcast is because of the paucity of spiritual even talk.

Candee:

On this podcast, one woman identifies herself as agnostic and the two of them were talking about the anxiety they have about death. It occurred to me that the very difference between people who grieve in a spiritual setting and people who grieve in a non-spiritual setting have more anxiety. I guess I'll just put it that way. They called it "death anxiety, and they referred to people who seem to have had an acceptance around the death of their loved one Acceptance isn't the right word and they referred to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross when they talked about the five stages of grief, obviously not including David Kessler's later work about incorporating the meaning of the death into your life, which is the most important and final step. As Kessler continued Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's work, he recognized that acceptance was not a place a lot of us can get to, and I think he came to see over the years that this meaning portion was really what informed people's lives and allowed those who were grieving to continue their lives with the incorporation of their loved ones passing. ,and life were woven into their current lives.

Candee:

And it's this very thing, this weaving, I'll call it, that the two women from the East Coast discuss this anxiety about death. O ver and over, using phrases like "Well, we don't know if there's an afterlife, we don't know about there. We used to believe the world was flat and now we don't know that. Who knows what, we don't know these types of thoughts feeding and supporting that anxiety that they both expressed about death, about wanting to cling to life, about wanting to drag into the next world, (or wherever it might be) kicking and screaming. I thought about this a long time and I thought about how different it was for those I've come to sit with and grieve with. I hope that when I have sessions with people, I'm giving them room to question their God, to question their faith, to question their own lives, because I think we all need to do that.

Candee:

And especially in a death that comes unexpectedly, it's very difficult to make the world seem right side up again. But maybe that's not what we should be doing. That's not what our task is. Our task is, our task is always love, but especially in death, because it may feel missing to us. It may feel that the source of love has gone, been blotted out, like the moon blots out the sun in an eclipse, and you may feel that way sometimes. It's perfectly okay to feel that way, but you should remind yourself-- and you should experience-- that the moon does pass out of the sun's shadow and the sun does shine again. So the one constant we have Is that love.

Candee:

So the two women in the podcast don't ever talk about love. I was so struck by this, struck by the fact, after years and years of education about counseling with people and being with people and comforting people; they never talk about love. They talk about what can be proved. They talk about complicated grief as if it was a medical condition, and although they're quick to say people's grief is individual and there are no wrong ways to grieve, they're also quick to sit with their anxiety, let the anxiety be, as it were, instead of remembering the love, focusing on the love, going back and forth to the well of love that was created in a life, shared in a life and can continue to be shared in death. I find it slightly naive to think that these two professionals consider "spirituality that's what their quotes a portion or a sliver of a way people grieve. My experience has been that's true that many grief groups Approach this as a Psychological or family dynamics problem and have a social work type solution or a psychological solution or a family counseling type solution, and I finally recognize that the word they never use is love. It's not something special that I discovered.

Candee:

Jesus talks a lot about love, especially in relationship to his death. Think of him in Gethsemane, where he's surrounded by his closest friends and he asks them to love him by just staying awake. And they do not. They have disappointed him profoundly, yet he doesn't cease to love them. We've all experienced the fact that people whom we love can still disappoint us, but if we stop and examine that love that we have for that person, it doesn't change because of the disappointment. It doesn't change because we think they fell short. It is the one constant. And maybe these two ladies from the East Coast studying philosophy and family therapy and the dynamics of grief never came across the word "love and never understood the healing power of love that we are given. We were given as our passports to our lives, our living, our growing, our growing, our growing old and our death.

Candee:

This has been another episode of Solace: Soul + Grief. A new one drops every Friday. Please support us by subscribing on Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or Spotify. You can also find us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose. I am Candee Lucas, Aftercare Coordinator for Catholic Cemeteries, Chaplain and Spiritual Director. You can reach us at the email or phone number in the show notes. We welcome suggestions for future episodes or reach out to us for one-on-one spiritual direction, individually or as a family. As you travel through grief, stay safe, be gentle with yourselves and travel with God. Vaya con Dios.

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