(One of my close friends is Herman Moldez from Manila, Philippines. He is a passionate follower of Jesus, is influential in the Philippine national Church, mentors pastors and ministry leaders in the ways of Jesus and is a deep and spiritual thinker. I received this from him just yesterday and thought it appropriate to share in this space. Stacy)
Herman Writes: “One of my painful experiences these days, as others also go through, is to know of friends and fellow workers who died because of covid19. At one time I was reading the post and looking at the photo of a family in painful grieving of losing a family member and another still struggling in ICU because of covid19. All of a sudden I just caught myself flowing with tears and sobbed silently. I experienced a bit of grieving with them.
Because of pandemic restriction and danger so many are grieving with a few if not alone. They weep silently and secretly. Isolation makes grieving much painful and comfort more elusive.
Communal grief is essential to healing and comfort. We say that long separated family members and friends gather either in a wedding or in a funeral.
Death has a way of creating a community of mourners to ease the pain of grief. Mourning with those who mourn by coming together to weep and embrace, listen and lament is minimized if not taken away. Online memorial service may only deepen the painful longing to be present to say the last goodbye.
If we reflect the isolation the pandemic brings it is telling that we can’t ignore one another for we are deeply related not just by blood but in spirit. I hope that our separation from family and friends deepens our understanding of community. May the long isolation prepare us to a better way of being and behaving as a community to celebrate life and more so to comfort those who weep over death.
Grief finds ultimate healing in the God of compassion and the Father of all comfort (2Cor 1:3). God weeps with us. He remembers our sorrows. God keeps a record of our miseries and collect a bottle of our tears (Ps 57:8). In Christ, God took human grief to the cross and has given us hope for healing of all sorrows and tears (Rev 21:4).
Grieve we must as a way to heal in hope. God is at work by redeeming our sorrow into a song so that one day we will rise from mourning to dancing with joy with family members and friends.”
Herman Moldez Manila, Philippines