A blessing for those who lost a loved one to suicide

CEMETERIE, Engesohde, Hannover, Germany, by x1klima

We tend to name God
With easy labels
God is also a God of Exits
A witness to injustice
A divine companion in suffering
God who holds us in our life-and-death
God of messy complication
God of unyielding sadness.
Yes, I will address this blessing to
God who holds our collective pain and anger and loss
For ours is a wave of feelings
That will crash wherever they crash.
We seek a blessing of gentle patience
With ourselves as these waves break
In more and less powerful ways
In moments of inconvenience
When we are just trying to buy milk
And not make a scene at the register.
God, grant us love and forgiveness (eventually)
For everyone who will say
The exact wrong thing
To shame or dismiss our complicated grief
And God, this is likely to include everyone
So we will need a lot of it (eventually)
For the speakers of trite phrases
And inspirational quotes.
Just nothing will feel right or be right
Because it isn’t.
God, make your presence known
In this moment
And all of the other ones
When the feelings are bigger than our bodies.
Help us to sit in this private chaos
And not to burn all of our bridges.

Nancy Ross
Nancy Ross
Nancy Ross is an associate professor Utah Tech University, where she has been teaching for 16 years. Her Ph D is in art history, but her current research focuses on the history and sociology of religion. She recently co-edited a book with Sara K.S. Hanks titled "Where We Must Stand: Ten Years of Feminist Mormon Housewives" (2018) and has just co-edited “Shades of Becoming: Poems of Transition” with Kristen R. Shill. She is an ordained elder in Community of Christ and pastor of the Southern Utah congregation and works for the Pacific Southwest International Mission Center as an Emerging Church Practitioner.


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