My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Monday, February 17, 2014

On Grief, and on Moving On

Right now, there are no words.

Tuesday night, a fellow Christendom alumnus (class of 2013) died. He was 23. He had been engaged for less than 3 months.

Twenty-three-year-olds aren't supposed to die.

Why, incidentally, are we afraid to say that someone "died"? Why do we try to soften the reality with such terms as "passed away," or the more humorous "bit the bullet"? What are we afraid of?

We're afraid of death. We're afraid of the very fact of death. When someone close to us dies, we miss them...but the death of a friend is also a stark reminder of our own mortality.

And so we grieve. We mourn. We grieve for the could-have-been's, the would-have-been's, the life that could have been lived. We mourn together with the friends and the family.

We grieve, yes...what is the shortest verse in the Gospels? "And Jesus wept"...but we can't wallow in the grief. Wallowing keeps us from living our regular lives, and yet we have to move on.  While God Incarnate Himself wept for His friend, He did not wallow in His grief; and wallowing is not what God wants. He wants us to move on.

We cannot let the grief consume us such that we suspend our lives; those who have gone before us do not want us to suspend our lives.

We have grieved; we have buried Charlie; and now it is time to move on. Not forgetting the loved one, the friend, we have lost; but moving on in hope.

For our God is the Resurrection and the Life.

"Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again.
"Martha saith to Him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day.
"Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live: and every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believeth thou this?
"She saith to Him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, Who art come into this world"--Jn. 11:23-27

Rest in peace, Charlie.

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