To Mourn or Not to Mourn. . .

| | Comments (11)

One thing I am tired of is being told that there is something wrong with mourning the loss of our Holy Father. Yes, we can rejoice that he has joined the heavenly host; but that does not preclude a deep sense of loss ourselves. Over the last several days, I've had several very holy, very wise, very faithful admirers of our great Holy Father tell me that it is wrong to mourn his death.

Wrong or not, I must be true to who I am. And, perhaps selfishly, I mourn the fact that John Paul II is not with us in body to lead us and guide us. I rejoice that he has been relieved of the earthly burdens that weighed upon his last years. I rejoice that he is with God. I rejoice that he will continue to pray for us and seek guidance for us.

But the reality is, unfortunately, I did not know how much I loved him until I no longer had him with me. And now, I mourn his loss and I am not ashamed of it. I am comforted that there is some hope that I may see him once again, but for the present, I mourn the passing of a great man, a great mind, a great heart, a great spirit, a great servant, a great example to us all.

Bookmark and Share


Dear Steven,

I mourn with you!

I have had the exact same experience of good and holy people casting off any sign of mourning or sadness as if it's wrong. Its not wrong. I feel a deep sadness over the death of our Pope even though I know his suffering is over, he is with Our Lord, the angels are rejoicing, he is closer to us now etc... death is still a sad event and it is a totally "human" response to mourn. Jesus wept over his friend's death even though Jesus was able to raise him from the dead only moments later. Why would he do that?

In Christ, Mary

Exactly! Our mourning is in itself a tribute to how he touched us ... and we should be allowed to pay it in full.

A couple of lifelong Catholics in my mystagogia class last night expressed similarly that they had a deep sense of sadness and that they had not appreciated John Paul II for all he was and did in his life.

"Ya don't know what ya got till it's gone."

And I feel the same, as well.

i say weep until the last tear is shed iffin you need.

I agree with MaryH: if Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb, we can weep at the Pope's. Separation is painful. It's not at all selfish not to mourn separation, just as it's not at all selfish to exclaim, "Ow!" when I burn myself (yet again) while reaching into the oven.

Blessed are those who mourn!

How unfortunate. You certainly shouldn't be ashamed to mourn.

One of my favorite pastors was half-Irish and half-Italian. When someone died in his family there was great tension because the Italian side was somber and mournful while the Irish side was laughing and talkative. He made the point that there is nothing wrong with either style, but the problem was people on one side looked at the other as awful.


I know how you feel. I too find myself isolated in my mourning. Grieve, my dear friend, for you have sustained a great loss.

We're mourning around here--sprinkled with odd bits of joy. I talked to my sister today about what we had seen on television and we both just teared up all over again.

We're having a requiem mass for the pope tomorrow night at our parish. I suspect there won't be a dry eye in the house.

I think it's silly for people to tell you not to mourn the Holy Father's death. If we weren't supposed to mourn his death, there wouldn't be nine official days of mourning, now would there?

It's ridiculous to tell anyone it's "wrong" for them to mourn. I'm greatly surprised someone would actually say something so insensitive. I do like to remind myself, in these days of grieving, of the firm hope of Heaven. But death was never the way it's supposed to be. We were once supposed to be immortal, before the Fall. Death is a tragedy in one sense, and a glory in another. But it is the tragedy we mourn--and I think it is based on the fact that we remain here on earth to continue our sojourn, without the tangible presence of our friend.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 5, 2005 11:56 AM.

Protestant Prayers for the Holy Father and Coming Conclave was the previous entry in this blog.

A Progressive View of the Pope is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll