"He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds." -Ps 147:3

Losing a loved one is heartbreaking. The pain is sharp and deep, and the days seem empty without that person here anymore.

Death can make a person feel like life is meaningless or pointless. Why live if you are going to die?

The reality that the world moves on without our loved one seems harsh and cruel, perhaps even wrong.

The pain and confusion that comes from losing a loved one can be healed only by God, who created us and intended for us to attain heaven with him. People can console us and help us carry the cross we now have, but they can't give us the deep spiritual consolation and hope that comes from God, who gave our loved one life and has now received that person back.

Why did God allow that person to die now? Why didn't God do something to let that person live longer? Why separate people who love each other? Only God can heal a heart that is afflicted with these questions.

Praying can be extremely difficult when our heart feels shattered and empty, especially if we feel like God could have prevented it. During this dark time, we need to come to God despite the emotions or feelings discouraging us. Our faith is really tested during this time. Do we trust God despite how we feel? Do we trust that God can see more than we can?

Coming to God with our heart open to him allows him to give us the comfort and consolation we need. God wants to give us this comfort and consolation. The most important thing is that we come to God with our heart and mind, not empty words, during this difficult time. God will dwell in our heart if we open it to him.

Pray

Prayer in the morning or at night:

Lord, my heart is broken, and my life feels shattered without [enter loved one's name] here. I don't know how to live and be happy without [him/her]. I don't even know if I can go on and be happy without [him/her]. I only know that I will still remain faithful to you even with all of this pain. I ask you, Lord, to please take care of [enter loved one's name] and make sure that [he/she] is okay. I trust you, Lord, to take care of [him/her] and make sure that [he/she] is happy. Fill [him/her] with your love and peace and joy. Thank you, Lord, and please help me to see [him/her] again someday. Thank you. Amen.

Scripture passages to repeat:

"He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds." -Ps 147:3

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." -Rev 21:4

Who to pray to for intercession: Our Lady of Sorrows

We recommend praying to Our Lady of Sorrows because she knows how terrible the pain is when grieving the loss of a loved one. She suffered very much while watching her innocent son die on the cross.

Novena:

Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Sorrows, you know how much pain and suffering comes when losing someone you love. You lost your son, Jesus, and I lost [insert loved one's name]. I ask you, Our Lady of Sorrows, to help me during this time of sorrow. Please pray and intercede that [enter intention]. Please help me to remain faithful to the Lord and trust in him during this difficult time, as you remained faithful during your difficult time of sorrow. Please pray and intercede for all that I need. Please help me in every way you can. Thank you. Amen.

Cooperate with God

Sometimes God works through practical means to help people and answer their prayers. Here are some steps you can take to keep the door open for God to work through practical means to help you as you grieve:

  • If you feel like counseling might help, schedule an appointment with a counselor.
  • If you are open to going through the process of grief with others who are also grieving, attend a support group session.
  • Receive the Eucharist often (daily, if possible).
  • Sit with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration; pour your heart out to him and let him heal your pain.
  • Read the story of someone who has also experienced the loss of a loved one. Reading about how others have experienced loss and dealt with the pain can help you to know that you are not alone and can give you ideas about how to work through your grief.