Pastor’s Perspective: Dispelling some myths about death and grief

The fall issue of “More Good News” explores the topic of funerals in our Catholic tradition.

I’d like to add some thoughts about common myths that sometimes accompany death.

When someone says, “When are you going to get over it, the loss?” — they’re really saying your pain makes them feel uncomfortable. The myth that we “get over” a genuine loss is false because for many there’s no getting over it — we absorb it, learn from it and carry it always.

Another myth is that our relationship ends with the passing of a loved one. Our relationship changes and the bond of love or friendship continues. Sometimes we experience that person in even closer ways.

It is not true that there is one way to express our grief — a person’s grief is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Grief is not something to be cured; it is a process to journey through.

There are other myths about grief — time heals all wounds is not real for some people. That expressing deep sorrow or grief is a sign of weakness is not true.

Another myth is that religion and spiritual beliefs always bring comfort. This can be of great help; however, it’s not for everyone. The grieving person needs a heart open to God to begin with. When someone says, “It’s God’s will,” how do they know? Did they get an email from God?

You know God’s ways are not always our ways.