Spiritual Direction Resource

Encouragement from Silke Pyrlik, Spiritual Director

It might be grief!
Somber greeting from the home office!

And finally it came: our stay-at-home order from the
governor. Better late than never I guess.

The fourth week of staying home from school and almost 4
weeks of not working from the office are now done. I don’t
know about you but for me it started to hit home this week.
The feeling of “wow, this is real!”, people are dying, by the
thousands. Manfred would have been able to confirm how
much I love disaster movies, they are one of my favorites.
Or maybe, from now on, they might just become my “used
to be favorite” movies. My all time favorite disaster movie is
(or maybe was) “Contagion” (2011 with Gwyneth Paltrow
and Matt Damon).

Not in a million years would I have believed that I will get to experience something like that myself.

I am reading a lot of blogs, spiritual writers, fellow spiritual director’s writings, yoga teacher’s thoughts, pastor’s ideas….and this week there seems to be one common topic; fear and grief (the premise of disaster movies).

“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.”
– C.S. Lewis

I stumbled over this quote in a fellow spiritual director’s bog and friend from the Lutheran Seminary, Amy Sander Montanez.

Amy writes: “Grief is the sense of loss we feel when something we value is gone. It can be something tangible, like a person, pet, or object. It might be losing an activity we enjoy like playing sports, attending church, or shopping and eating out. Intangibles, like a sense of certainty or wellbeing, freedom to move around as we wish, daily routines, relationships we normally count on, even something we haven’t yet been able to name can be grieved. And it all leaves us with a weird, disoriented sensation.”

That hit very much home with me. I am aware that I am in the process of grieving the loss of my husband, and that is a very strange animal to deal with. Yet I wasn’t aware that I am grieving so much more. I could relate very well to the sensation of disorientation and even sometimes fear but was not able, so far, to name it as grief.

How about you? Do you feel fear? Disorientation

It might be grief!

We all are experiencing a lot of losses right now and we can count ourselves lucky if we do not know anyone who has succumbed to Covid-19. But that doesn’t mean that we do not have the right to name and claim our other losses as named above.

If you feel any loss (and you most likely do)…claim it! Name it, like e.g. in this way: “I am very sad that I am not able to attend an Easter morning service in a brick and mortarchurch for the first time in my life! I feel a sense of disorientation, and yes even anger and fear. I despise that I am prohibited from doing so and the feeling of pain over this loss is real and uncomfortable!”

Now you claimed it! It’s real. It’s ok. You just became mindful of those feelings.

You are not alone!

Know that you are not alone in those feelings of loss and grief. This feeling is shared by many fellow church friends and members, your (extended) family, and in truth most of the world. We ALL grieve! We all lost so much! Trust in the resurrection!

This Holy Week strikingly underlines the importance of the Easter story: death and resurrection.

Loss (like death) for Christians should be followed by hope (resurrection) for new life. This extreme period of loss will end eventually and we all will be finding hope in a new kind of life. A life possibly re-oriented and changed after a traumatic world-wide experience like this, but with the hope for something better, more meaningful, more sustainable for all.

A New Kind of Life!

I can get excited for that hope! That the world might become a better place. That we all individually might become better people, more grounded in what’s truly important, more giving, more accepting, more loving, more understanding, more helpful, more reasonable in our demands and desires, more compassionate.

Let us all focus on the promise of resurrection! After death (loss) there will be life! After all, this iswhat our faith is all about!

May the Peace be with you, always!