The church has had quite a few deaths in recent days: Olive Heller, Nancy Langsdale, Don Moses, Lillian Reber, Jeanne Truitt, Charlie Watt. As Pastor Craig and I communicate with the families, the hard part is what to do. Does the family have a memorial now when hardly anyone can attend? If so, how do they do it? Zoom? Do the families wait until this pandemic is over? And if so, how do they grieve now?
One expert on grief said, “Grief shared is grief diminished.” When we can’t come together to grieve, it hampers our ability to process loss. Therefore, we do what we can.
I had a conversation with the daughter of one of the members who recently passed away. The daughter flew in from Florida to visit her mother the week before she passed. Because the daughter visited Arizona, she is now in quarantine in Florida and not able to come back and place her mother in our columbarium. I promised her I would do that for the family and take a picture/video to send her. We do what we can.
I know many of you are doing just that. You are sending cards, making phone calls, doing what you can to share in people’s grief.
We have other losses as well. As I continued to talk with the daughter, she used a phrase that I think is very fitting to describe what we all are experiencing in the midst of this pandemic. She said, “We are all under a giant umbrella of grief.”
She went on: “God knows. God knows what we are going through, and that gets me through the day.”
I offer this realization up to you if you are experiencing grief in this strange time we live in. We are going through what is called “living losses” – the losses of everyday routines and milestone moments that the virus has stolen from many.
God knows, my friends. God shares in our grief. In that shared grief by the God who loves us, may it diminish.
We love you,
VALLEY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
2800 S CAMINO DEL SOL
GREEN VALLEY, AZ 85622