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In the second of the beatitudes Jesus reassures us that  “Happy are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

One of the things I have noticed is that in times of grief,people search for ways to offer comfort to the one who is suffering a loss. One tried and often used “truism” people share when a terrible thing that has just happened is that it is part of “God’s plan.”

Such a saying is most likely of little comfort to the one grieving as it makes it seem that God has either devised a less than perfect plan or he has some twisted ways of doing things.

In the past two posts we have explored the wisdom of Albus Dumbledore and Henri Nouwen about how death is not something to feared for the one facing it. What we have not considered is the very real pain of those left behind.

According to a headstone somewhere in Ireland: “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

This is either a  flaw in God’s plan or something that will require further clarification when we attend the “Welcome to Heaven” orientation class.  To mourn we must have loved. The deeper the sense of loss the greater the depth of love experienced. One source of comfort for those left behind is the belief that the one we love is now in the embrace of our brother Jesus.

Grief  is a hard and a simple fact of life. We saw it with Jesus weeping for  his dearest friend Lazarus and in Mary at the foot of the cross. If God has a plan this is the most difficult part of it for us to understand.

Moving beyond our grief and resuming our lives requires trust and time. Happy are those who have faith for it is a real source of comfort. That is a part of God’s plan I can understand.

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