Death: Looking For Some Wise Info


Friends: Recently lost a nephew, 18, to a car accident and one of my sons, 12, is having a very hard time with it all. He adored and idolized his cousin. Any suggestions on what I can do or say? Last night, at my 15 yo’s football game, we saw a fellow who resembled him. My 12 yo had a panic attack, turned red, couldn’t breathe and had to go home. We tried to reassure him that his cousin is in heaven, but it is still so hard. I am asking for anybody who has been there with a teen, and perhaps can shed some advice, good books, etc., and perhaps some advice. thank you so very much. This is so very hard for our young’ins.:slight_smile: Thank you.



Hi Sparkle,
My own (now 21) son lost his best friend in a t-bone crash up on the highway about 3 miles from here and took it (still does) pretty hard.

When it happened I pointed out that one of the things that I love most about being Catholic is that we have a better (IMO) way of dealing with death than most other faiths.

I talked with him about 2nd Maccabees 12:46 and pointed out that we are able to offer up prayers for those friends like his. The guy wasn’t Catholic but he was a very devout Christian, so this passge was also relevent:

Book Of Wisdom Chapter 3
The happiness of the just: and the unhappiness of the wicked.

1 But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: 3 And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. 4 And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. 5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.

6 As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. 7 The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. 8 They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. 9 They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect

I also pointed out the wealth of wonderful Catholic prayers for the dead and that even though many Catholics may have forgotten it we are supposed to remember the faithful departed along with our grace after meals with something like “May the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen” So they are never forgotten.
I hope this helps some.
Pax tecum,


Church Militant gave some great advice, and what I offer is not meant to contradict, but to compliment it.

There is a Jewish saying that goes something like “Don’t try to comfort a man in his hour of loss”. The meaning is that sometimes hurt is very profound, and it must stand on its own. If your son is simply mourning, allow him to mourn; it’s a natural and healthy process. There are times when he will simply be hurting, and nothing less than bringing his cousin back will ease that hurt. Remember, even Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. Offer guidance and support when issues such as the panic attack come up, and show him how to pray for/with his cousin, but definately don’t interfere with his grief. If he needs time to mourn and cry and act irrationally (for a reasonable length of time, hopefully), then sometimes that’s best. So long as he knows that you are there and able to comfort him, and you show him the good way to mourn, things should be alright.

God bless, and I will pray for your nephew :slight_smile:


I lost my dad when I was about your son’s age, so I know how hard it is to face such a loss. It sounds like he is expressing his grief, which is a good thing. I held it in, which was very bad for me. If he doesn’t start to come out of it in a reasonable amount of time, you might want to get him into grief counseling or have a heart to heart with someone he trusts.

My sister finally realized how much she was grieving the death of our mom when she was in her twenties. She went to the doctor for depression and he told her she was suffering from a broken heart. An old fashioned term, but it exactly describes exactly what is wrong. Your son has a broken heart and it is going to take time, loving understanding, and more time to heal it.

Please tell him we are remembering his cousin in our prayers–that he is at peace in Christ, whom he loved and who loved and still loves them both.


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