HONOURING THE DEPARTED

Fr Jim Cogley



A mother bought her son a motorbike for his eighteenth birthday. A year later he fell off and got killed. She had ample reason to torture herself with regrets and blamed God for allowing the accident to happen. She was asked to consider the best way she could honor her son’s memory, by going through life beating herself up, and being miserable or by letting go of guilt and practicing self-forgiveness. Naturally she could see it was only by choosing to live her life to the full that she could honor the memory of the one she lost. Likewise she also came to the realization that having cut herself off from God and Spirit she was by default alienating herself from her Son, since it was only through Spirit that she could now have any connection with him. After choosing that road she then seemed ready to unwrap the cloak of grief that had clothed her for so long and think in terms of letting him go. Up to this she believed, like so many, that the tighter we hold on to someone who has died the closer we will feel to them. The opposite is the case; it is by letting go that we regain a closeness of spirit, whereas by holding too tight we create untold loneliness for ourselves.