The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Grief & grace

Amid tears, we shared stories and prayers

How little time we are given to mourn in this culture. For a few days those who have experienced the death of a loved one receive support —cards, calls, casseroles. Then, abruptly, it is over. The message seems to be that our grieving should be over too.

Yet the death of a loved one leaves an emptiness only partially filled by memories and time. The dull ache that remains is a sign of the depth of our love and the greatness of our loss. In synagogue worship, one is invited to stand for the mourner's prayer every Sabbath for a year after the death of a loved one. The community recognizes how long grief takes to heal. Even years after the death of a loved one, we long to hear someone say the name or share a story of the person's life.

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February issue


Embracing diversity