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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in grief (3)


Knowing How Others Feel

Ted underlines that as we walk through life we must be sensitive and receptive to what others are feeling. This conscious sharing of their experience can lead to an honest understanding of their situation, permitting us to serve them more effectively. -Editor

We can think of ourselves as walking through life with others. In many situations we can enter into the feelings of an other, know much of what they are feeling, and be guided by that knowledge in response to them. A recent example for me was a phone call from a friend. She had just learned that a close friend of hers had died suddenly. I heard and felt her pain, shock, and sadness. I expressed shock and sadness and just tried to hear her feelings. I think back on that conversation as an example of really knowing how another was feeling.

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Can She Still Be With Me?

Having had a child after her mother passed away, Abby writes about her struggle to comprehend how connected she and her mother are now and how this may change after her own death. She draws heavily on one of her husband's theological papers which leaves her central question unresolved. Ultimately, though grieving the loss of her mother, she is confident that the Lord is in charge. -Editor

Author's Note

For the last several months I’ve had the idea to write this article about the interaction between people here on earth and their loved ones who have died. Parts of it keep rolling around in my head, but every time I come back to trying to write it I can’t capture really what I am trying to say. A year ago my husband wrote a paper about whether or not people recognize each other after death for one of his theological school classes. This paper says a lot of the things that I have been wanting to say. So I thought that rather than essentially plagiarizing his paper I would just include chunks of it with my thoughts interspersed. The sections from Malcolm's paper are in block quotes, and the long quotes within the quotes from the paper are in italics. If you'd like to read the whole thing, here it is: “Why People Do or Do Not Recognize Each Other After Death” (PDF).

Can She Still Be With Me?

Just over two years ago my Mom died. She had cancer and had been sick for many years, so in a lot of ways it was a relief when she died. But that doesn’t change the fact that I miss her.

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Brian Smith deals with pain left by the loss of a friend. He looks at how closely the loss of a person to a community resembles wounds to the body. Brian notices how the slow signs of healing on a community level indicate that the community itself is alive and has a structural integrity. -Editor

About seven weeks ago I fell while I was running in the forest. I broke open the skin on my knee in a long gash. The cut was impressively deep and spilling a good amount of blood. It was the type which a doctor would immediately decide needed stitches. I chose not to go through the hassle of a doctor partly because I like cool scars and also because I was confident that my body could heal on its own, even if it took a little longer. I like watching cuts heal.

Healing is the opposite of decay. Dead things decay. Alive things heal. Watching a thing repair itself is an inspiring reminder of the mystery of life. Why does the 155 pounds of material that I call my body hold together as a unit and repair itself rather than decay?

With the recent passing of my friend I have watched a fresh, deep cut in my community spill blood.

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