How can our faith speak warmly human words to the pain of those mourning the loss of loved ones? I have been wrestling with this as our tenets of faith have seemed distant from the painful reality I have witnessed. We believe that God is love (1 John 4:8) and that love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:8). For all their truth and power, these words still turn to ash when faced with the loss of a loved one.
It is said that ‘love is blind’. Yet maybe the pain of loss also temporarily clouds the ongoing nature of the love that was shared in life: the special moments, celebrations, travel, shared laughter and pain. Maybe the best thing one can do is to be present to the pain of others, to the absence they feel. No words, however well-intentioned, assuages such a shipwreck loss. Nor should they. In their time, memories of shared love may open eyes to glimpse the truth – by sharing life and love with their departed loved one, together they were one with God and that never ends, not even in death.