Life is Goodbye, Life is Hello: Grieving Well Through All Kinds of Loss by Alla Renee Bozarth is one of the most helpful books I ever read. When it found me, I thought a lot about the hellos and avoided the goodbyes of life. Then a profound loss opened me up–and the book supported that journey.

We often do not get to choose when a goodbye becomes necessary. Jesus’s mother and disciples (shown above) certainly had no idea that they would need to bury their beloved son and teacher just days before it was necessary.

Sometimes in the midst of great loss we have to put our hands over our mouths–in despair and/or to keep ourselves from verbalizing some very dark thoughts that might scare even us.

Sometimes all we can do is look with incredulity and hold on–externally and internally.

Each of us does the best we can; each of us finds our own ways to say goodbye.

My Prayer:

I present my grieving heart that struggles to integrate the goodbyes that still and may always hurt, to you, O Compassionate One. At least when I can pour out my heart to You, I am not alone.

Invitation to Prayer:

Bring to mind and heart something or someone you are struggling to say goodbye to. Do you recognize your internal pain in any of the faces above? Let what you search for and/or what you find to lead you into prayer.

Scriptural Touchstone:

…the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.   John 19:42 NRSV


These images of Jesus’s entombment are found in the Passion window at Chartres Cathedral (1145-55).

Other Posts in this Series
Life and Death
Talking about Death
Hanging On Before Letting Go

Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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