Remembering loved ones who passed away

A series of events taking place in the city this month will remember people’s loved ones who have died.

Prayerful gatherings will take place at the Cathedral on Monday nights, November 19 and 26 at 8pm.

People will join in music, prayer and reflection to give thanks for those who have passed away and the legacies they left behind, says Siobhain Bradley, youth ministry co-ordinator with the Galway diocese.

She says November is a special time. “Traditionally, it is a time when we remember our loved ones, especially our family members and friends who have passed away before us. It is a time to recall past events and people who shared our lives. It is a month where people are encouraged to talk and share their loss openly.

“Bereavement is a major life crisis, not in the sense that the outcome is necessarily disastrous, but a crisis in the sense that life will never be the same again. When you experience the death of someone who was close to you there begins a journey that no-one can stop. Whether you like it or not, you find yourself at the beginning of a hard road. It is a venture that sometimes seems out of control. There appears to be no road signs along the way and everyone else seems to be on a different path. This journey appears to have no end, with ups, down, and detours that come upon you without warning. On top of this, there seems to be no satellite navigation or road map to guide you.”

She stresses that grieving people have certain rights that others must be careful not to take away from them.

“In fact, it is the very upholding of these rights that makes healing possible. You have the right to experience your own unique grief, no-one else will grieve exactly the same way you do. Don’t allow others to tell you what you should or should not be feeling. You have the right to talk about your grief - talking about it will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief.

“You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions - confusion, disorientation, fear, guilt, and relief are just some of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Know that there is no such thing as a “wrong” emotion. Accept all your feelings and find listeners who will do the same. You have the right too to treasure your memories - memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find creative ways to embrace them.”

She says people have the right to move toward their grief and heal - reconciling your grief will not happen quickly.

“Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever.”

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