lfbanner3a summer
I find myself writing a last minute bulletin column as the parish grieves the loss of another staff member. Brian Garland passed away suddenly on Tuesday afternoon, and everyone is left stunned as our parish grieves a man who was husband, father, son, brother, friend, co-worker, parish leader, companion, fellow pilgrim on the journey of faith, and amazing director of liturgy / pianist.  A little over a year ago in March we lost another staff member, and Brian helped to arrange a little prayer service for Vicki that Sunday in Payne Hall with all the religious education children and their families.  It is so hard to believe this is happening now for him. Brian will be missed severely, but we find consolation in the knowledge that Jesus Himself wept at the death of His friend Lazarus.  
We will pray for Brian in a special way as plans for the funeral are finalized.  Please see our website and/or Facebook page for updates.
The parish picnic will be held as planned, and we will spend time there honoring the life we have lost.
Loss is the biggest difficulty felt in any change.  We are all susceptible to loss in so many ways, and the biggest loss of all is the loss of a person and the relationship with that person.  Often this loss brings with it many other aspects of loss to us, which can only make the grieving process more trying and complex.  Loss has many different forms: loss of control (what limited control we actually have may be diminished); loss of attachments (specific things we enjoyed are gone); loss of meaning (the goal or purpose is shifted); loss of turf (something is relinquished); loss of future (the story-line is not what was hoped or expected); loss of identity (how we perceive ourselves changes); loss of structure (the routine or reliable).  These happen in all different parts of life, but they are especially felt in the most severe types of loss such as this.  If you have experienced other severe loss in your recent past, it would be helpful to go to the Lord in prayer about these seven areas of loss.  It is important to be honest about the fullness of grief that you are experiencing, so that you can face it with the Lord at your side.  We need to be able to show the doctor where we are feeling pain so he can treat it.

Along with showing the Lord where you hurt (and why), another helpful thing is to go back to those experiences of loss with the Lord, and ask: “Lord, where were you in the midst of all this?  What were you doing or saying?  What were you feeling?  What were you hoping?” Finding God in the midst of trials (the title of a book I once saw on Bishop D’Arcy’s shelf) is a huge part of the healing process, and can be especially helpful in situations of trauma as we give room to God for the renewal of our minds and the healing of our wounds.  Loss is a wound and healing is needed, and the Lord is our healer.
Saint Thérèse, the little flower, pray for us.