July 5, 2018

I love the holidays. All of them. With life as busy as it can be sometimes, holidays provide us with an opportunity to gather with loved ones—family AND friends—and retell old stories, make new memories, and eat too much food. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and of course, Easter, are all high-family gathering moments in the calendar. But not for everyone…

Many of us have felt the pain of grief associated with the loss of a loved one. The holidays hit hard during those days, and even leading up to them, they can leave us with a sense of grief that we’d long thought would ebb away with time. I am all too aware of the moments throughout the year in which my father should be with me, my grandfather, my friends…yet they have gone to the heavenly banquet rather than the family barbecue, and I find myself yearning for days’ past.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with remembering the folks we love on these special holidays—and on any other day, really. But I think one of the most difficult experiences in human existence is working through the loss of someone dear. I didn’t do the suggested counseling, nor the optional classes provided for, the grief process following the death of my father.

I wish I had. 

As such, I thought it might be beneficial for those of you who have lost someone or who feel the burden of grief to join me in working through some of the grief we have all experienced. C.S. Lewis wrote a book called, “A Grief Observed”, shortly after his wife’s untimely death. In it, he processes the grief he witnessed during those difficult moments. He writes, “Nothing will shake a man—or at any rate a man like me—out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.” The torture of which he speaks is addressing the grief, head-on, and being honest about how we feel due to its presence. 

Some of you may not be ready for this, and that is completely acceptable; I will offer this course again next year. But for those of you who are ready to name your pain and walk through it to obtain some sense of closure—not forgetting, but forgiving and moving forward—I urge you to join me beginning July 29th and ending August 19th. Each Sunday morning class will be 45 minutes long, held in the new conference room on the North side of the building, and will begin at 9am. You can find the books here; if you cannot afford a book, I will pay for it. Please contact me and let me know if you’re interested in this class, as I want to ensure enough seating and materials for all. 

I hope you have a blessed day, and I hope you know how beloved you are to this community.


Fr. Sean+