An Affirmation for Those Who Have Lost, by Dr. James E. Miller
I believe there is no denying it: it hurts to lose.
It hurts to lose a cherished relationship with another,
Or a significant part of one’s own self.
It can hurt to lose that which has united one with the past
Or that which has beckoned one into the future.
It is painful to feel diminished or abandoned,
To be left behind or left alone.
Yet I believe there is more to losing than just the hurt and the pain.
For there are other experiences that loss can call forth.
I believe that courage often appears,
However quietly it is expressed,
However easily it goes unnoticed by others:
The courage to be strong enough to surrender,
The fortitude to be firm enough to be flexible.
I believe a time of loss can be a time of learning unlike any other,
And that it can teach some of life’s most valuable lessons.
In the act of losing there is something to be found.
In the act of letting go, there is something to be grasped.
In the act of saying “goodbye”, there is a “hello” to be heard.
For I believe living with loss is about beginnings as well as endings.
And grieving is a matter of life more than death.
And growing is a matter of mind and heart and soul more than of body.
And loving is a matter of eternity more than of time.
Finally, I believe in the promising paradoxes of loss.
In the midst of darkness, there can come great Light.
At the bottom of despair, there can appear a great Hope.
And deep within loneliness, there can dwell a great Love.
I believe these things because others have shown the way –
Others who have lost and have then grown through their losing,
Others who have suffered and then found new meaning.
So I know I am not alone:
I am accompanied, day after night, night after day.
-- from the book Seasons of Grief and Healing
God, we remember those who are not here to enjoy this moment with us. Please comfort our hearts when we miss them most deeply. Grant us courage, strength, and patience in our grief. And teach us to live again on this side of loss. Thank you for others who show us the way toward hope and love again, and most of all thank you that you yourself, God, accompany us each step of the way. Amen.
-- Chaplain George Rossi