We can only imagine how sad Mary must have felt standing at the foot of the cross. Witnessing her beloved son, Jesus, being scourged, crucified, and dying, had to be excruciatingly agonizing. Nothing hurts a mother more than her child’s pain.
Four of the Seven Sorrows of Mary focuses on the Passion. The Seven Sorrows include The prophecy of Simeon; The flight into Egypt; The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple; The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross; The Crucifixion; The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross; and the Burial of Jesus.
As a fully human woman, such great sorrow must have prompted the human grief response in Mary. No doubt, she experienced the same process we do after traumatic events and loss.
The five responses noted by David Kessler and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Kessler and Kubler-Ross stress that these are typical responses, however, as each one of us and our circumstances differ, so does the way in which we each respond. We all proceed through our emotions in our own way and timing.
Most often, we begin in a state of denial. Initially, after a loss, we may be overwhelmed and in shock. We are numb to the world. Kessler says that denial is a mode of survival that helps us cope. It is a natural reaction that allows us to take in as much as we can handle and actually is a step towards healing.
As we move through the process, we are open to a range of painful emotions. Finally, we should reach a point of acceptance. The feeling of loss remains but we find a way to live with our new reality.
The pain of grieving is eased when we lean on our earthly and heavenly friends. Mary is one of those loving friends, and she understands heartache as well as any of us. She is waiting with open arms to comfort and guide us through our trials.
(Grieving with Mary is available from Amazon.com, ACTA Publications, and my website.
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