We have all heard these familiar words, but how can we rejoice when we are grieving? When our hearts are broken from missing the one we love, it can seem almost impossible to even consider that we will ever feel joy again. Each day only seems to hold tears and despair, not hope or laughter.
Yet if we consider what our loved ones would want for us, it is to be happy again. They loved us and would not want us to suffer in their absence. Their love encourages us to find our way back to moments where we can rejoice, even if it is just in thinking about the happy times when they were with us.
Yet the Psalm does not talk about yesterday, it references today. This moment, now is all we can guarantee. Losing our loved ones has taught us that difficult lesson and yet within its wisdom is a tool for tackling the heartache. Grief is a process of looking back in regret and forward with fear.
We think, "if only I had" or "I wish I didn't" and ruminate on what could have been. Yet the past cannot be undone and we did the best we could at that moment. We must work on forgiving ourselves for all of our perceived "I would have, if only" thoughts.
We look forward to a future that is unknown and a bit scary. We made plans that will never occur and now may be faced with taking care of things that we do not know if we have the capacity to handle. We fret and worry and allow anxiety to overtake our present moment over things that may never occur.
Today is all we have. It is only in the present moment of "now" that we can find relief from the overwhelming feeling of grief. When we just take a breath and become mindful of what is going on around us, we feel better. That is why we hold laughter clubs and drum circles, for they take us into the present moment.
Now there is a leap from being anchored in the present moment to rejoicing. We may wonder how we will ever get there. One of the surest ways is to count your blessings. Gratitude brings us into a heightened sense of bliss. Remembering what is right in your life can ease your troubled heart.
Feeling the love that surrounds you from family and friends reminds you that you are not alone. Counting each small blessing reminds you of what remains in your life and you can rejoice in the grace of love, of home, of health and of faith. May your faith sustain you today and always.
For information on all of our grief support programs call 716-873-6500 and request a grief support packet. It is full of information on the programs offered through Catholic Cemeteries.