Prayer for the Loss of a Grandchild
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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Oh, God,This is so unfair! Not our grandchild! It isn't fair! It isn't right! Our darling, young grandchild, the one we delighted in at birth, tended to, babysat and loved without limits. Why now are our hearts broken by this death? I can hardly think and I can't breathe. Such a tender and beloved little one with an entire life ahead. All of the hopes and dreams of the parents - our children - for this child they loved so much. And now our children are left with the devastation of losing their young child. Can I really comfort them?Why? This just doesn't make sense and I want to yell at you. I cry yet again and try to make sense of it. Then your words come to me: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened. I will give you rest. You invite me to lay down my burdens, my sorrow and my heartbreak. You will give me rest. In the quiet, I feel your comforting presence with me, as I cry in despair. I feel your tears of sadness, too, for my own sorrow and for the loss of this amazing little person.Help me, loving God. Show me how to carry on with my life. How to offer compassion to others. Teach me to share the great love I had for my grandchild with others who are still on earth.Give me the grace to now speak to my grandchild in this new "life after life." This young thing now has an understanding beyond ours and stands next to you in happiness and love. Help me, Lord. Touch my heart with your healing love and let me be aware of your endless love in my life today and every day.It will take time. Give me patience. Let me be aware of your love.Coping With Tragedy In Our CommunityIt is unspeakable, dear Jesus. Someone from among our own community, suddenly gone. How can it be? It was an ordinary day until we heard the news and still we don't believe it. Our hearts are filled with dread and uncertainty and we want to pull our children closer and hold them tighter. What do we say to them? To each other?And from the confusion pounding in our ears as we pray, comes a grace. Your words surface: Take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid. You first called those words across the turbulent surface of the wind and water to your apostles who were huddled in terror in the boat. You say it now to us. Take courage. You are inviting us to take on your courage. We don't understand what has happened. We have no words. We know only that we turn to you and ask for courage and you offer it. It is I. I am with you always. Yes. We take a deep breath and feel your presence. You are with each of us right now and with us as a community of faith. It doesn't help us to understand but it helps us to calm our breathing.Do not be afraid. Really? Dear Jesus, right now it feels like that is all we have to cling to! The panic may return, our bewilderment and uncertainty. But yet, your invitation is clear: Do not be afraid. That is for me. For all of us.My dear ones, I know you will continue to grieve and be stunned by this loss. Your pain and confusion will only gradually recede. My assurance is that you don't need to feel this pain alone. I will be with you. And the good news I am offering you will give you hope.Dear Jesus who understood fear and confusion so well, bless this community in our great hour of loss and need. Be with us as we gather to weep and mourn at your altar. We beg you for the the courage to delve into the silence, the wisdom to speak at the right time, and the fidelity to remember that you are with us in this great hour of need.Amen.