People experience bereavement in different ways. We all let go of a loved one in our own characteristic ways. Losing a loved one is always painful. Some of us wish to mourn in solitude. But talking to someone usually helps you process difficult emotions and find new possibilities. The support of family and friends in such situations can be indispensable.
Pastors and other parish staff are also happy to help. Talking to people is part of their work and something they have been trained for. Do not hesitate to turn to them for help if you feel like it. Many parishes also organise bereavement support groups where you can talk with people in similar situations and receive peer support. You can enquire about support groups at the parish office or from parish staff. There is also information about support groups on the Parish Union of Helsinki website.
A perspective of hope
All life is transient, and our time on earth is limited: “Everyone is but a breath”. But Christian faith brings a perspective of hope to the transience of human life. Death is not the end: there is something on the other side. Faith in resurrection and eternal life is one of the cornerstones of Christianity. This faith also gives meaning to this life, helping those who have lost a loved one to carry on with their lives. Everyone has a task on earth, and when we have fulfilled that task, we are called home to our Heavenly Father.
A Christian burial makes a full circle of the journey that starts with baptism and ends with departure from this world to be with God. It is a way of being part of God’s life that transcends time and death. Death cannot separate us from God’s promises, resonant with the message of love, comfort and hope.