Friday, 15 December 2017

Grief is the price we pay for loving

WRITING this the day before Baroness Thatcher’s funeral and in the midst of a batch of taking funerals, death is

WRITING this the day before Baroness Thatcher’s funeral and in the midst of a batch of taking funerals, death is quite on my mind.

This is, for me, a rather unusual occurrence. At this time of year I am more likely to be reflecting on springtime — if you can remember what that is!

At one of my services this week, we had a reading from the Roman philosopher Seneca. I should have been paying more attention in Latin classes at school!

However, the great thinker said this on the subject: “Though we grieve the death of our loved ones, we accept them and hold on to our memories as precious gifts. Let us make the best of our loved ones while they are with us and let us not bury our love with death.” (In the Presence of Death)

It is very easy for us to be so caught up in the pain of loss that we lose sight of the gift that the life of our beloved has been. As Seneca reminds us, the memories of our loved ones and the effect that they have had on us are among those things that sustain us in the pain of separation. Grief is the price we have to pay for loving.

We are given only one life to live and are called up to live it every day. Jesus, living only a few decades before Seneca, had said the same thing: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6: 14)

In Seneca’s words is the challenge for us: “In the presence of death, we must continue to sing the song of life.”

In these days after Easter, let us concentrate on the gift of life round about us and the promise of new life in springtime.

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