When you’re grieving, it can seem like the sadness may go on forever. With the New Year comes an opportunity for a fresh start, a time for letting go and moving forward. While there is apprehension that can go along with the unknown future, there’s also peace in embracing the opportunity to look forward. To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.”
If you’ve had a significant loss, it can feel like your whole world is shaken. How can you move forward? First, trust in the promise of change. If you can, wake up early one morning to watch the sunrise, in order to feel the power demonstrated as darkness turns into light. As Christians, we can trust God to hold our future. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Next, trust yourself to begin again. The pain of loss never entirely goes away, and it’s not something to push past or “get over.” Rather, a person who has lost someone dear must work through the pain of loss, understanding that healing is a process and new beginnings are possible.
- Set resolutions and goals. Resolutions are an overarching concept, but goals are specific. When you set attainable goals you’re refining your resolutions and making them more realistic.
- Start a journal, keeping track of your progress. It doesn’t have to be written for anyone’s eyes but your own, and it can contain your feelings, thoughts, goals, inspirational words you have heard, and anything else that helps you to heal, Start it by writing down one small thing you can do right now to improve your life.
- Find ways to honor your loved one’s memory. Perhaps attending a memorial mass feels like a good way to find some peace and honor the person you have lost. Maybe there’s a charitable act you can do in that person’s memory. It could be as simple as planting something in your garden that reminds you of your loved one. The important thing is to find a tangible act that will give you a feeling of connection.
Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose provides you a sacred place where you can go to remember your loved ones in a peaceful and hope-filled setting close to your home. We offer you three locations, Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, Calvary Cemetery, in East San Jose and St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Milpitas. Each month, we hold a memorial mass to honor those buried at our cemeteries. We also offer workshops on end of life issues from a Catholic perspective. Reach out to us to learn how we can be there for you and help you in your time of healing. Feel free to contact us through our website, or call Calvary at 833-428-0379, Gate of Heaven at 833-304-0763, or St. John the Baptist at 833-428-0379.