We’re still in the Season of Christmas (and other holidays) about to mark the beginning of a new year … a new decade. Holidays can be stressful and particularly when a loved one is no longer alive to be part of the festivities.

Even though the following Soulistry reflection was written a year ago, (<https://www.soulistry.com/death-and-grief
or go to Facebook <www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry>
or <www.facebook.com/groups/soulistrychurchyear>)
was written a year ago, for those whose loved one has died and are experiencing sadness, it is shared, with love, once again.

May peace be with you.


Death.  Many don’t want to talk about it … at Christmas … at Hanukkah … at Kwanzaa … on Valentines’ Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, Easter … At any time … or at all!

The subject of death is the proverbial ‘elephant in the room,’ be that at home, work, a social gathering, on the phone, on social media.  When family, friends, pets we love, die, grief enters.  The elephant has walked into the room and we often hear phrases like:
… “It’s just been a week/few weeks – you’ll feel great in three/six/twelve months.”“It’s been almost a year – it’s time to get over it and move on.”
… “S/he was old.”
… “You knew it was coming.”
… “It’s just a dog/cat.”

… “You’ll be fine once this holiday is over.”
… “He didn’t deserve what he went through, so God gave needed rest. God’s garden must be beautiful.  He only takes the best.”
… “You only knew them through Facebook.  How can you grieve someone you never met in person?”

I’ve heard them all – and more.
What to do if someone says something similar to these to you?

Ignore their comments.  You know the truth:
… love cannot be defined by anyone other than the parties involved.
… while grief never ends, it changes, because it’s a passage, a journey, not a place.
… grieving isn’t a sign of weakness, or a sign of lack of faith, or anything other than the price of loving someone.

So, let us be gentle with ourselves as we grieve.

Let us remember those who have died.  Remember them
… with joy in our heart
… with gratitude that our paths connected

May we acknowledge that our loved ones will always be with us in some way … in our hearts, minds, memories.  “Death ends a life … not a relationship.” <authorship unproven as many have been credited with authorship over the years>

May each of them rest in peace.
May each of us be gentle with ourselves in our grieving which, if incurable illness is diagnosed or suspected, can begin even before death arrives.

And when those “Trigger Moments” show up – because they will – perhaps a reread of the Soulistry Trigger Moments blog reflection might be of encouragement: www.soulistry.com/trigger-moments

Or one/some of these Soulistry reflections might …


The framed work of the phrase “Death Ends A  Life, Not a Relationship” is one I did as part of a calligraphic series, following a unique process designed by Marina Soria, and the flowers are from the back yard – blessed by seeds that were planted and seeds dropped by birds. 

© June Maffin