Carry Me.

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“Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” Megan Devine

Loss can be difficult.

Loss can be tragic.

Loss can be life-giving.

And no matter the emotion which binds itself to our loss

ultimately,

loss comes with grief.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  John 11: 33-36

As blogger Tim Lawrence explains, while grief is a powerfully personal experience it is important to surround ourselves with those who know how to grieve with us.  Especially, in those areas of loss where we have no control over it.

“Personal responsibility implies that there’s something to take responsibility for. You don’t take responsibility for being raped or losing your child or having a terminal illness. You take responsibility for how you choose to live in the wake of the horrors that confront you, but you don’t choose whether you grieve. We’re not that smart or powerful. When hell visits us, we don’t get to escape grieving.  The irony is that the only thing that even can be “responsible” amidst loss is grieving.”

“If anyone avoids you amidst loss, or pretends like it didn’t happen, or disappears from your life, you can let them go.  If anyone tells you that all is not lost, that it happened for a reason, that you’ll become better as a result of your grief, you can let them go.”

I have witnessed and walked-through grief many times through my volunteer work with hospice.

From the young-at-heart to the youngest of age, grief takes root.

The blessings I have received as a result of tending to the needs of those journeying through the final stages of this life on earth and the needs of their loved ones has taught me much.  I have spent months with some and only hours with others, yet consistently the gratitude expressed comes quite simply from “just being here with us.”

“The ones who helped—the only ones who helped—were those who were there. And said nothing.

In that nothingness, they did everything.

I am here—I have lived—because they chose to love me. They loved me in their silence, in their willingness to suffer with me, alongside me, and through me. They loved me in their desire to be as uncomfortable, as destroyed, as I was, if only for a week, an hour, even just a few minutes.

Most people have no idea how utterly powerful this is.

Are there ways to find “healing” amidst devastation? Yes. Can one be “transformed” by the hell life thrusts upon them? Absolutely. But it does not happen if one is not permitted to grieve. Because grief itself is not an obstacle.

The obstacles come later. The choices as to how to live; how to carry what we have lost; how to weave a new mosaic for ourselves? Those come in the wake of grief. It cannot be any other way.” Tim Lawrence

What do we offer to those who are grieving?

Tim pulls from his own personal experience with grief and explains so beautifully what I myself have found to be true.

“When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror.

Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words:

I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.

Note that I said with you, not for you.  For implies that you’re going to do something. That is not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to listen to them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful.

There is no greater act than acknowledgment. And acknowledgment requires no training, no special skills, no expertise. It only requires the willingness to be present with a wounded soul, and to stay present, as long as is necessary.

Be there. Only be there. Do not leave when you feel uncomfortable or when you feel like you’re not doing anything. In fact, it is when you feel uncomfortable and like you’re not doing anything that you must stay.

Because it is in those places—in the shadows of horror we rarely allow ourselves to enter—where the beginnings of healing are found. This healing is found when we have others who are willing to enter that space alongside us. Every grieving person on earth needs these people.”

And so I ask you quite humbly, to be one of these people.

You are needed more than you know.

And if you find yourself in need  of one of these people,

find them.

I guarantee they are there.

Just waiting

to

simply,

quietly,

authentically,

be there

for you.

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hugs n’ blessings to all those seeking to be found & to those waiting there for you.

“The pain that you have been feeling can not compare to the joy that is coming.”  

Romans 8:18

“Let them come to me…”

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Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. Each World Meeting of Families has a theme that energizes and enlivens the event while adding great depth of meaning to our understanding of families. The theme of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society.  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II in 1994, the World Meeting of Families has strengthened the sacred bonds of families across the globe.

On June 30th, 2015, the Vatican released the comprehensive itinerary for Pope Francis’ journey to the United States, including his schedule for Philadelphia on September 26-27, which will close the 6-day Apostolic Journey.  And ever-since that day I, (along with millions of others) have anticipated his arrival.  I am still pinchity-pinching myself that I will be there!

Call me a fanatic,  Jesus-freak, (did you know this is described in the urban dictionary???) Pope-stalker, or the likes; but really…it’s not that dramatic nor romantic!  I’m just in awe of my God. I’m in awe of His love for me.  His love for others. And the deep-desire He has to reign down his grace and His mercy upon us.  God can never be outdone in His generosity & as I have opened my heart to Him more & more I have seen this great love FOR US…Every.  Single.  Day.

My enthusiasm for Our Holy Father is rooted in his “YES” to God to lead us in this endeavor.  Pope Francis’ trust in God, strengthens my trust in him and in my Church.  He leads me, guides me, & reminds me what the Gospels teach.  I am grateful for the courage he embraces to be challenged, mocked, judged, and ridiculed for this trust in a God he knows intimately.  And I am inspired that Pope Francis encourages, invites, and WELCOMES everyone to partake in this same unconditional love our Heavenly Father offers, as we place our trust in Him.  The Pope reminds each of us: we are ALL sinners, himself included, BUT that Jesus stands AT the door of our hearts & knocks.  However, WE must open the door!!  The door-handle is ours to hold, to turn, to open.  And I pray, if it hasn’t already been done, countless people, through the blessings of the Holy Father’s visit,  find themselves pulling open the door which separates them from receiving God’s great love for them.  This is what Christs’ vicar is showing us how to do in his papacy and I am so grateful…I cannot wait to be in Philly so I may tell him so!

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Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
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Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto Philadelphia, Pa
Exactly how will I tell him??? (I promise not to break any security-breeches in my endeavor.) Through my prayers, of course!  My participation in this pilgrimage will be encased in prayers.  All forms of prayer!  Prayers of sacrifice & fasting.  Prayers of gratitude, intentions & petitions.  (To discover the difference between the two click on the link.)  And I am collecting all forms from anyone who desires me to include theirs with mine.  I will offer them at the final Papal Mass or if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto in Philly I promise to “tie” your prayers to this special location.

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My first prayer, after delivering all the others brought from each of you, will be as I said earlier, my gratitude.  However, my biggest prayer is inspired by the tender-little-one shown below.  Her message tugs at my heart for personal reasons.  And her message is so very poignant to what the theme for The World Meetings of Families is all about…LOVE IS OUR MISSION.   May it remain a theme in our lives forever…for the sake of our families…for the sake of one another.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

hugs n’ blessings to all the little-ones who: “try to do my best in my heart.”  

So that everyone can smile…