Clasped hands praying in front of a candle rack

Catholic Grief Support: Finding Comfort in Community

Catholic grief support offers a perspective on grief that holds God at the centre of this experience.  Grief is something that we all experience at some point in our lives.  We witness the death of nature over and over again and all around us. We lose pets, friendships, jobs, houses, and finally, we lose loved ones.  This loss brings us into contact with one of the most profound experiences in life which is grief.

Catholic grief support is deeply embedded in the Catholic faith tradition.  In Jesus we witness the deepest grief, his own suffering, and the suffering that comes with his death. We travel together with Mary in her suffering.  We walk alongside his disciples and followers, who looked up to Jesus as teacher, as rabbi and as one who brought hope in times of despair.

Catholic Grief Support Is Helpful

Catholic grief support helps us when grief comes upon us with the death of a loved one.  In grief we lose our way and often struggle to take the next step forward.  In that place of darkness and confusion, it can be hard to know who to reach out to for love and support.  Even if you have been raised in faith from a young age, it can be hard to hold onto the thread of connection with God.  For some in grief, God can slip out of view.

Walking into rooms, not knowing where you are.  Wandering around the rivers of your imagination to search for your loved one among faces in the crowds.  Staring off into space as though there is no tomorrow.  These are all common experiences that get amplified in grief.  At times aloneness is intolerable.  Reaching out for support can be scary, especially if you doubt that anyone could understand you and your unique experience of loss.

It Offers Something Special

Catholic grief support offers a glimmer of light to shine through the darkness of grief. Aloneness creates despair and isolation.  In this aloneness we ask questions about the meaning of life and death.  Having a spiritual dimension, Catholic grief support helps to feel less alone.  that others have also had this experience, and while no two people’s experience is alike, there are often qualities of encounter in common that can be shared.  Like travellers on the road to Emmaus, as we talk grief, we find meaning in our experience together.  This support is well worth seeking, especially from like minded people.

It Offers Opportunities To Connect With Others Going Through Grief And Loss

Catholic grief support communities are many and varied, they can exist within parishes, they can be independent, they can be affiliated with cemeteries such as Grief Care which is funded by Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria in NSW, they can be linked to aged care facilities like Calvary, and they can be included in the programs of state-wide bodies such as Catholic Care.  All of these organisations run programs to support you in your grief journey, each providing a unique service that they have developed to accompany you as you walk your own unique journey, allowing you to hold the memories and continue the bonds as you find your own way to navigate this experience of love and loss.

Heartfelt, where you have landed at this point in your journey, is a charity that offers grief support in community.  It is unique in that it provides online sessions that have a spiritual dimension within the Catholic faith tradition. It’s not that you have to be Catholic to belong, but belief in the values of Love, Faith, Hope, Compassion and Forgiveness as embodied in Christ, both in his teaching and healing as well as his suffering is the lens through which we view grief, and it has become one of our main sources of consolation.

Catholic Grief Support Provides Consolation Through Scripture

Catholic grief support offers consolation in scripture.  Jesus, healer and teacher, teaches us about the power of prayer.  He shows how prayer empties us before God.  It is in this place that we are invited to show up as we are, in our pain and suffering.  This is a place of the indwelling of the divine. In this space there is no judgement or advice giving.  It is a place where all of our parts are accepted and more importantly, loved.

The Catholic Ritual of Prayer to Support us in Grief

Catholic grief support In addition to reading and reflecting and praying with scripture, offers deep contemplative  prayer in community.  Prayer was what Jesus did when he felt troubled and in need of deep connection.  Grief, the ultimate loss and disconnection, sometimes forces us to reestablish connection through, with and in God, who becomes  our portal to hope. Prayer in community is deeply containing and connecting.  It is one of our greatest supports, our greatest gifts and our greatest forms of faith.