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  #1  
Old Nov 26, '11, 2:54 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Hey everyone. Ever since I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church until this year I had not experienced the death of anyone close. Well, this year I have had to deal with the death of my Grandma Williams who I was very close to and now the death of my Great Uncle Bob. I was far more close to my Grandma Williams than I was to my Great Uncle Bob. I really never got to know my Great Uncle Bob very well but I knew my Grandma Williams very well. Just thinking about my Grandma Williams immediately brings on at least a single tear and usually more. So I ask, how do you deal with the death of someone close from a Catholic perspective?

I am having a hard time with things partly because the death of my Grandma Williams was the first death I ever had of someone that close since I reached adulthood and partly also because I am the only Catholic in my family so I kind of feel nervous about talking about the death of anyone in my family to my family members because of the simple fact that my view of death often conflicts with their view of death. For example, I can't even mention Purgatory or praying for the repose of someone's soul without the conversation becoming very awkward or just downright tense. Please help.
__________________


"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." -- Saint Augustine of Hippo

"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results."
--St. Josemaria Escriva

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
--Saint Dominic

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
--Blessed Pope Pius IX


Our Lady's 15 Promises to Those Who Pray the Rosary

Come, pray the Rosary

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  #2  
Old Nov 26, '11, 5:12 am
Pfaffenhoffen Pfaffenhoffen is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly3278 View Post
Hey everyone. Ever since I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church until this year I had not experienced the death of anyone close. Well, this year I have had to deal with the death of my Grandma Williams who I was very close to and now the death of my Great Uncle Bob. I was far more close to my Grandma Williams than I was to my Great Uncle Bob. I really never got to know my Great Uncle Bob very well but I knew my Grandma Williams very well. Just thinking about my Grandma Williams immediately brings on at least a single tear and usually more. So I ask, how do you deal with the death of someone close from a Catholic perspective?

I am having a hard time with things partly because the death of my Grandma Williams was the first death I ever had of someone that close since I reached adulthood and partly also because I am the only Catholic in my family so I kind of feel nervous about talking about the death of anyone in my family to my family members because of the simple fact that my view of death often conflicts with their view of death. For example, I can't even mention Purgatory or praying for the repose of someone's soul without the conversation becoming very awkward or just downright tense. Please help.
  • Do not talk about Purgatory...
  • Speak of talking to your deceased relatives. After all, they are alive...
  • Let the question of their in God's Hands: they are in Good Hands and they are well.
  • Pray for them when alone...
  • Follow their practices: I dont think any of them conflicts with the Catholic Doctrine.
  • If you want another experience of that: study the question of the Chinese Rites that got the Catholic Church kicked out of China for a dumb decision of a dominican.
  • Let's be sensitive, let's not push dogma inside grief, let's put ourselves into God's Hands. Anyone against?
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  #3  
Old Nov 26, '11, 5:28 am
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Well, from any perspective you get to experience and own your grief, cry as much as you need to. After all, it's really a testament to their life.

But every place I've been there is a grief group in the Parish or one nearby. Call your Parish office and ask and then you can be with other grieving Catholics. I'm sure both your grandma and uncle will appreciate your prayers. Also, it's very nice to have a Mass said for them. Ask the Parish office about that, too.
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  #4  
Old Nov 26, '11, 7:09 am
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77stanthony77 77stanthony77 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Holly, sad to read about your lost. Everyone grieves differently. I had a hard time when my dad and husband pass. years ago. Mass request are nice to do. I usually go in person to the church office to have the masses book for me.. there is usually a fee. seems they all do things different as well
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  #5  
Old Nov 26, '11, 10:28 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfaffenhoffen View Post
  • Do not talk about Purgatory...
  • Speak of talking to your deceased relatives. After all, they are alive...
  • Let the question of their in God's Hands: they are in Good Hands and they are well.
  • Pray for them when alone...
  • Follow their practices: I dont think any of them conflicts with the Catholic Doctrine.
  • If you want another experience of that: study the question of the Chinese Rites that got the Catholic Church kicked out of China for a dumb decision of a dominican.
  • Let's be sensitive, let's not push dogma inside grief, let's put ourselves into God's Hands. Anyone against?
Thank you Pfaffenhoffen. I feel that you gave good advice so I am not against it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Well, from any perspective you get to experience and own your grief, cry as much as you need to. After all, it's really a testament to their life.

But every place I've been there is a grief group in the Parish or one nearby. Call your Parish office and ask and then you can be with other grieving Catholics. I'm sure both your grandma and uncle will appreciate your prayers. Also, it's very nice to have a Mass said for them. Ask the Parish office about that, too.
This is true. I can always go to a Catholic grief support group if I feel the need to. However, I was primarily asking about how to handle non-Catholic relatives and their beliefs (or non-belief) about God, the afterlife, and the deceased. I know that I need to be sensitive around them because I don't want to offend them.

However, I definitely do appreciate and want advice on how to handle it myself as well.

Thank you Julia Mae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 77stanthony77 View Post
Holly, sad to read about your lost. Everyone grieves differently. I had a hard time when my dad and husband pass. years ago. Mass request are nice to do. I usually go in person to the church office to have the masses book for me.. there is usually a fee. seems they all do things different as well
Thanks 77stanthony77! I really appreciate your sympathy and your advice. I have been wanting to request a Mass for my Grandma for some time and now that my Great Uncle Bob has died, I also want to request a Mass for him. The usual donation in my diocese is $10 but unfortunately I can't afford that. I should be able to afford $5 per Mass but I don't want to appear to be stingy either.
__________________


"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." -- Saint Augustine of Hippo

"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results."
--St. Josemaria Escriva

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
--Saint Dominic

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
--Blessed Pope Pius IX


Our Lady's 15 Promises to Those Who Pray the Rosary

Come, pray the Rosary

My Live Journal

Holly's Catholic Blog
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  #6  
Old Nov 26, '11, 11:05 pm
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

I can share my view point when I lose a family member which happened to me this month.
I look at it two ways.

First is the deceased themselves who are still alive. We believe in the communion of saints and that means they hear our prayers, which also holds for those in Purgatory. They know what we are saying to them and for them and they deeply appreciate our prayers and sacrifices. That is the most important thing to remember, they need us now and we can be of great service to them by remembering them in prayer and our sacrifices of love to God which will reduce their suffering in some way. Regardless of what others think, say, or feel,remember it is not about others, it is about the one we love and know. They now need us more than ever and we should always keep them in our intentions.

Secondly, other people in our family, friends, and acquaintances are a mixture of different
faiths and non faith. And so with them Purgatory and the Catholic issues are going to be
liking rubbing a sore. I would avoid that for it will only serve to do harm even tho
you are right in your belief. I myself stay with the good thoughts and times and share
these moments with them, as well as offer my sympathy to them.

One last thought. Tears are for us. Prayers are for our deceased. This is indeed a sad
thing about many Protestants (and I mean no harm), they do not pray for their decease loved ones who need their prayers and would benefit so much by them. And they can
start anytime.

Just a thought.
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  #7  
Old Nov 27, '11, 12:20 am
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred conty View Post
I can share my view point when I lose a family member which happened to me this month.
I look at it two ways.

First is the deceased themselves who are still alive. We believe in the communion of saints and that means they hear our prayers, which also holds for those in Purgatory. They know what we are saying to them and for them and they deeply appreciate our prayers and sacrifices. That is the most important thing to remember, they need us now and we can be of great service to them by remembering them in prayer and our sacrifices of love to God which will reduce their suffering in some way. Regardless of what others think, say, or feel,remember it is not about others, it is about the one we love and know. They now need us more than ever and we should always keep them in our intentions.

Secondly, other people in our family, friends, and acquaintances are a mixture of different
faiths and non faith. And so with them Purgatory and the Catholic issues are going to be
liking rubbing a sore. I would avoid that for it will only serve to do harm even tho
you are right in your belief. I myself stay with the good thoughts and times and share
these moments with them, as well as offer my sympathy to them.

One last thought. Tears are for us. Prayers are for our deceased. This is indeed a sad
thing about many Protestants (and I mean no harm), they do not pray for their decease loved ones who need their prayers and would benefit so much by them. And they can
start anytime.

Just a thought.
Thanks for sharing Fred. I think you made some good insights in your post. I definitely agree with you that mentioning Purgatory to family can be like rubbing a sore. I am going to avoid that. For one thing, I don't want to get in an apologetics debate about a family member who has died and for another, I don't want to turn them off to Catholicism if you know what I mean.

That said, I also definitely agree that we should pray for the dead. They do need our prayers. I have been praying for him and I plan to offer my Mass today for the repose of his soul and also for the repose of the soul of my Grandma. I am not having the priest offer the Mass for that, I am personally offering it for them. As for our tears, I feel that we can also offer up our tears for those we grieve.
__________________


"If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." -- Saint Augustine of Hippo

"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you'll be amazed at the results."
--St. Josemaria Escriva

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
--Saint Dominic

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
--Blessed Pope Pius IX


Our Lady's 15 Promises to Those Who Pray the Rosary

Come, pray the Rosary

My Live Journal

Holly's Catholic Blog
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Nov 27, '11, 7:56 pm
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

So true, we can turn just about anything we do into a prayer if its with love.
But I feel so sad for those that are in purification with noone to pray for them.
And especially when the deceased has so many living friends and relatives who
love them. If they only knew the power they have and the good they could do
for them.

Just a thought.
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  #9  
Old Nov 27, '11, 10:16 pm
Sky Pilot Sky Pilot is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with Grief from a Catholic perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Well, from any perspective you get to experience and own your grief, cry as much as you need to. After all, it's really a testament to their life.

But every place I've been there is a grief group in the Parish or one nearby. Call your Parish office and ask and then you can be with other grieving Catholics. I'm sure both your grandma and uncle will appreciate your prayers. Also, it's very nice to have a Mass said for them. Ask the Parish office about that, too.
Julia Mae said it well.
To this I would add:
That we grieve, tells us we have loved.
That we grieve hard, tells us we have loved deeply.
I have done both.
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