I hope this finds you safe and well.
This week, with the tragic news of the untimely death of our archbishop, Philip Tartaglia, I found myself being drawn back to this image of grief, which I think I might have shared with you last year.
When I stumbled across this image, as soon as I saw it, I thought to myself I must take a photo of it and I keep it in my phone.
I got myself a big mug of coffee early this morning and just sat and stared at this image, trying to take in and soak up all that it was saying to me.
It's a powerful image of grief. It's real. It's consoling. It's rich in meaning.
These are just my own thoughts and reflections.
Does the grief stricken mourner have both eyes open or just one?
I see one eye open.
The open eye's tear, you'll see, is Christ's face. The mourner's tears mingling with Christ's.
With seeing that one eye is open and the other closed, what it's saying to me is that this is the way grief can affect us.
The closed eye maybe is saying, 'I'm not wanting to see' or 'this is too much to take in' or it might be closing and shutting self off from the pain. Or the closed eye might be seeking peace and quiet in time of grief.
The open eye is looking - looking and trying maybe to make sense of the loss - looking maybe for meaning. Looking maybe for help and support. Looking maybe for someone to listen.
I love the way the artist has the mourner's mouth as the pierced and wounded side of Christ.
What that's saying to me is that grief can have our woundedness showing without us saying anything.
I like, too, the brightness in the wounded and suffering body of Christ contrasting with the mourner's darkness of grief.
The brightness speaks of hope in suffering.
The light can show a way out of the darkness.
I see a uniting of hearts - the mourner's broken heart with Christ's loving heart.
The longer I sit here with my coffee looking at this, the more I see.
I see, too, the mourner's face resting on the arms of Christ. He or she in their grief is being supported in their agony. They are leaning on Christ. He is there holding them up.
Grief in life in unavoidable for everyone of us. The truth is, though, that in it, we are not alone.
In grief, Christ is with us.
For me, this image is a powerful reminder of this wonderful truth of faith that we are not alone in our grief. Christ is with us.
Have a safe and a happy Saturday