The past three pandemic years have been a time of heartbreaking loss of loved ones for many families. Also, quarantines have kept families painfully separated from members who are frail or ill. During this Lent, we ask for special graces to work through deep sadness. The well-known poem “How Do I Love Thee?” by Browning can help capture feelings of grief when the words are changed to: “How Do I Grieve Thee?” Let us count the ways: your smile, your humor, your giggle, your mischief. We grieve thee freely, every day of life since that fateful day. And before that we loved thee through thick’ n’ thin, through high ‘n’ low, pain ‘n’ pleasure. We will grieve thee with all our breath, smiles, and tears, for the rest of life and if God chooses, we shall love thee better after death, and grieve thee more than ever. Grief is made up of memories, small and great. Memories become short or long videos with script included. Replaying the videos brings smiles, chuckles, giggles, laughter, and sometimes tears, but memories are the stuff of grief.
By Mary Jane Berger, OSB