"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."
These are words spoken by Jesus in a section called the Beatitudes. I always thought that it seemed a strange thing for Jesus to say. Most people that I know who mourn or are in mourning don't feel too blessed.
Yet beatitude means supreme blessedness. As I am still in the process of mourning the loss of my mother I cannot say that I feel supremely blessed but I do see glimmers of blessed-ness every day.
I see the blessedness of re-connection with family with whom I haven't spoken in a long time. It might be because of the heightened emotion of grief yet I feel the familial ties and the instant connection when we speak. There is no pretense nor apologies needed for not connecting sooner. It is just a comfortable connection of love.
I see the blessedness in the strengthening bonds of friendship. So many people have offered to help and have cared for our family's immediate needs. It is through the intensity of life and death that binds us closer to one another. We see those who are there for our family through the difficult times.
I see the blessedness in the ability to view life with an eternal perspective. Nothing like a death to pull me up short to realize what is truly important in life overall and in my own life specifically. I think that is one of the reasons that funerals make me cry. Of course, I am thinking of the person who is gone but there is also the thinking of my own life- what have I done in it, who have I influenced, if any and will God be pleased? I think for many a funeral is a time of personal reassessment.
I see the blessedness in the way I view other people. Death's perspective causes me to feel a generosity and grace towards others. We never know when it will be our last moment. I want to live so that when I am gone, there are no regrets. Things might be left undone but nothing is left in anger, rudeness or any other negative behavior.
What about you? Have you ever had to grieve? Are you still grieving? What did you learn about yourself through that process? What comforted you? Do you (did you) ever feel blessed by it?