As Valentine’s Day approaches, some of us may find it hard to get into the “loving spirit.” Losing a beloved family member or friend undoubtedly sparks a plethora of emotions. For some, these emotions can include feelings of anger, fear, and resentment. It’s during these most difficult moments in life that families tend to fight the most—I’ve met several families who have found themselves in disconcerting situations—brother against brother, mother against daughter, and so on. It pains me to see families this way, as losing a shared loved one can and should be a time for families to come together in love and understanding.
It’s very easy for us as humans to accuse and judge others. We must always remember that God is the one true judge in this world. It is not our place to compare the way we grieve, or the amount of grief, or to speculate over how grief should be handled. Our holy obligation is to love those who are grieving. Whereas anger only focuses on problems, love places the focus on forgiveness and peace.
Grief and love know no boundaries. In this season of love and forgiveness, I challenge us all to use love to bring forgiveness. Focus less on the anger and confusion you may feel and focus more on the love you have for all of your loved ones—living and deceased. Extend that love to others, and know that our God in heaven is also looking down on you with the same unconditional love.
– Andrej Lah , Director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association