Learning to Mourn
“Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.”
For years, I thought mourning was something you only do when someone dies and you’re trying to cope. However, as we come upon the one year anniversary of having to say goodbye to lives full of the things we knew and loved, I find myself reliving some of the grief I experienced one year ago.
When Covid hit, we didn’t know what was coming for us. As school got cancelled time and time again, I began to lose hope in the possibility of having a senior year of college and I found myself wanting to grieve over the experiences I was losing. I was confused because no one in my life had passed away but somehow, I wanted to mourn the relationships, memories, and the opportunities I was missing out on. I knew what it was like to have fun and live life; I was deeply missing that.
However, how could I mourn? I was just a student who was missing out on her senior year. Other people were actually losing loved ones, facing significant financial struggles, or terribly suffering from the new circumstances the world of Covid placed them in. It felt selfish to mourn the living I was missing out on while others were suffering much more deeply than I. In the grand scheme of things, I was doing perfectly fine. I had a home to live in, food to eat, and could still go on with things I was involved in (just now in a virtual format).
I would push away my disappointment in not being able to do everything I looked forward to doing while at college. I would keep moving forward. I didn’t realize that by not facing this, I was holding myself back from living fully and freely. I needed to lean into the desire to mourn.
Jesus tells us “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted”. These words tell me that in order to find that comfort and peace, I need to mourn. It is in the mourning that we find comfort. Yet, I had found myself pushing away the opportunity to do this because I felt it wasn’t justified.
Here’s the good news: mourning is a good thing! Jesus tells us that we become blessed and will be comforted through our mourning! Whether it’s losing a loved one, missing out on an opportunity, ending a relationship, losing your senior year of school, or whatever other loss brings us a longing for comfort: we are called to mourn. And through this, we can receive the gift of comfort and peace that allows us to continue to live our lives full of joy and light.
Now, as I let myself grieve my senior year of college, I thank God for these beatitudes that allow me to live in hope and joy. Why keep ourselves from the chance to be comforted?