Loss, as painful as it can be, is something we all will face in this life. And being thrust into a season of grieving can be disorienting and overwhelming. Yet, our faith in Jesus and his resurrection always gives us a reason to remain hopeful. In this episode, hear from three courageous women who have suffered tremendous loss yet, through it all, remained faithful and allowed grace to inform their grief.
(0:00) We introduce this episode’s topic of grief, and contextualize it in the hope promised by Jesus and taught by the Church in her prayers and funeral Mass. We introduce Alex Lynch, who lost her husband and shares how she processed this grief with her church community.
(1:36) Alex shares that her husband, Brian, was diagnosed with cancer about two years prior, and that, while he was in treatment, they suffered a miscarriage, and later, they believed they were unable to conceive, which eventually led them to discern becoming foster parents. As his cancer progressed, they were unable to continue fostering, but eventually became pregnant again, and welcomed their youngest two months before Brian passed. She shares how, after he passed, her parish community was a tremendous support that helped her get through that time of grief. She comments on how she makes a point to reach out to and support other moms who, so often, are suffering through trials silently and how grateful she is for those who still reach out to her.
(6:20) We introduce guest, Sheila Breen, who lost her husband, Kevin, to a rare degenerative disease. Fr. Patrick asks about her process of grief and she shares how it has been a season of tremendous grace. She shares about praying a prayer of surrender when her husband was first diagnosed, and that, while it’s been a time of great challenge, there has been a true outpouring of grace.
(11:51) Sheila shares that carrying a cross seems to simplify things and that all the unnecessary concerns seem to fall away. Although this season was incredibly difficult for her, she and Kevin trusted completely in God and depended on his grace in the sacraments. She shares that there is a peace she has felt since his passing that she knows comes only from the Lord. She goes on to describe how she and Kevin even grew to offer up suffering and, in doing so, draw closer to God.
(16:59) We introduce Teresa Tomeo, who shares about her experience of losing and grieving the loss of her mother at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares how she could see God’s hand over it, even though it was a tremendous loss. She notes the details of her death including the date and her peaceful passing as a grace from the Lord. While it was painful and they weren’t able to celebrate a funeral Mass as hoped due to the pandemic, she speaks about the support and guidance she received from her pastor. She shares about how God showed up through it all, even at her mother’s burial, and how she continued to trust in him.
(20:42) We encourage those facing loss to reach out to and lean on their faith communities. We invite those listeners who aren’t currently facing loss to consider serving those who are grieving in their parishes. Thanks for listening!