• Bill McLean

Mourning the Losses

One of the challenges that we have all faced this past year is mourning and grieving. We mourn the nearly 500,000 people who have died in our country from the pandemic. And we also mourn the mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers, friends and

neighbors who we have personally lost to the pandemic.

As we near a year of physical distancing and pandemic precautions, it is important to remember and mourn these losses. The people we have lost are more than just a statistic in a news report, they are real people and real connections that we miss and grieve for.

Part of the healing journey is ensuring that we make time and space for grieving, both for ourselves and for others. Each of us have lost and each of us needs to grieve those losses. There are days that we will cry, days that we are angry, days that we are in denial, and days

that we are just numb to everything, and there will be days when all of this happens in just a few minutes.

There is no perfect way to mourn and there is no magic way to skip ahead on the journey. Each of us travels through grief and mourning in our own way and at our own pace.

A unique challenge with the pandemic is that often we have not been able to be with loved ones during their illness. There have been funerals that we were not able to attend or that have been postponed for months.

As we begin to return to in-person activities and gatherings there will be difficult moments when we realize that someone did not decide to skip the gathering, and instead we learn about their death. It is important that we show grace to each other as we navigate these

challenging situations, and it is especially important that we also show grace to ourselves.

If you are struggling with grieving and mourning during this time, please reach out to a friend or family member and share what you are going through. There are also support groups affiliated with many hospitals as well as churches. Please know that you are not the only

one who is hurting and please know that you do not have to make this journey alone.

As Paul reminds us, “We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8 NRSV)

May the peace of Christ surround you and comfort you this day and every day.

Grace and peace,


Rev. William "Bill" McLean, II

Presbyter for Congregational Care

Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois

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