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Bury the Dead

Every one of us has experienced the death of someone we love, whether it is a distant, elderly friend or the deep pain of losing a spouse or child. What can we do in this final Work of Mercy?

We can always go to a wake or funeral if it is possible - even if we are tempted to skip it. We may not talk that day to the grieving person, but our presence can be a great comfort.

A note of condolence can touch the heart in the days and weeks after a death, and much later, it can be re-read and offer comfort again.

The Journey of Grief

Grief is a rolling, painful journey with stops and starts and no discernable end. While no one “gets over” a death, those we love can grow through the grief. No two people grieve in the same way, and remembering that and resisting comparisons will help us support those we love.

It is in the weeks and months after the funeral when our support can mean the most. A daily phone call or email just to let the grieving person know we care can be a boost in a painful day. We can include a grieving person in lunch, dinner or other plans. At the end of the meal, I can make plans to meet my friend for coffee, giving him/her something to look forward to.

I can ignore my own discomfort with their sorrow and really listen while a grieving person shares the loss in her/his life. A touch on the arm or shoulder, a hug and careful listening help the person know how much we are present to them.

Bury the Dead - St. John's at Creighton UFor suggestions on dealing with grief or supporting others - and for prayers - Creighton’s Online Ministries offers Resources for Grief page.

Let us Hear From You

Have more ideas on Burying the Dead? Add them here

From Daniel B.:
Sending a rose or flowers to a widow or widower on the anniversary of the deceased death or wedding anniversary.
Having a Mass said for the deceased.
A simple phone call to the person on the day of death or wedding anniversary or Christmas/Easter/ other holidays

From Mary G:
I note the death of a special person on my calendar and can then tell the mother, sibling or living spouse when that person is remembered on the anniversary of his/her death. I had an elderly girlfriend who told me even her children had not spoken to her on that day. Very sad to be so quickly forgotten.

From SW:
"I live in a small town and our church still provides a funeral luncheon in our social hall. It takes many hands to provide this service of love and caring."

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