From the Psalms:
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble;
my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
(From the Daily Office Lectionary – Psalm 31:9-10 (BCP versification) – September 7, 2012)
This was today’s morning psalm, about which I am writing late in the evening. Today’s meditation was delayed by sad news in our family: my wife’s father passed away early this morning. She was unable to be with him since we live far away from her original home where he had continued to reside. We are comforted that his wife (my spouse’s stepmother) and two of his sons were with him.
Grief is part of the human condition. None of us are immune to it, and the loss of a parent is one of the hardest grief’s to bear. Both of my parents have been gone for several years; my wife lost her mother 16 years ago (tomorrow is the anniversary of her death, as it happens).
So tonight . . . no pithy thoughts, no deep meditation. Just joining my wife in her grief. There is an old proverb (from Central America, I think): Grief shared is half grief; joy shared is double joy. I hope it’s true.
Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: Deal graciously with my wife and her siblings in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From the BCP 1979, page 494).
Father Funston is the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Medina, Ohio.