By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Relationships.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” -Matthew 5:4
2020 was a year full of loss and grief. Whether it was losing a loved one, social interaction with family and friends, employment, or daily routines, people worldwide have experienced a tremendous amount of loss and grief over the past year.
While we can’t control the loss and grief that we may feel, we can choose how we process and deal with it.
In a recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, Sr. Monica Paul Fraser, OP, reflected on this topic.
“This past year has been challenging more than any other time. Because of the COVID restrictions and isolation, there has been so much sadness,” shared Sr. Monica Paul. “I’m hearing so many sad stories, and it’s been a hard year, especially for children. They miss the connection and interaction with their friends at school.”
With that sadness comes loss and grief. While some may try to run from the grief, Sr. Monica Paul looks at grief as “a final act of love, and you need to go through it. If you don’t go through it at the time, it will come back to haunt you.”
“You have to take the time to grieve that you need.”
In her ministry as a Pastoral Associate in Incarnation Church in Sarasota, Florida, Sr. Monica Paul experiences these conversations daily with individuals dealing with grief and loss.
“Many times this year, I’ve been praying, please don’t let me cry. I don’t want to cry in front of parishioners. That’s how sad it’s been.”
When asked what advice she would give to those dealing with loss and grief, Sr. Monica Paul immediately recommended prayer.
“I pray a lot. The Holy Spirit helps me all the time. Pray to God. Pray to Christ. He knows what suffering is for sure.”
Sr. Monica Paul added, “Take care of yourself and do things that are life-giving. Take it one day at a time. It will never go away, but it will get better.”
Even with the sadness, loss, and grief that Sr. Monica Paul has experienced over the past year, she has made it a point to focus on the “life-giving” moments.
“I’m always amazed to hear about the stories of the ones they lost. When they speak with so much love, and they talk about the character of the one they lost, it’s very inspiring to me. It makes me happy to know that so many families had dads, moms, sons, daughters, or loved ones who were good people.”