Dear Catholic Exchange:
If I lose someone who is really a beloved person to me and I cannot seem to get over the loss, does that mean that I don't have enough faith?
Peace in Christ!
There are a number of ways to answer your question. I hope the following is in some way helpful to you.
The fact that you cannot get over the loss of a loved one does not mean that you do not have enough faith. Faith helps us face loss, but faith does not make loss go away. Faith is personal adherence to God in all things, even loss (cf. Catechism, no. 176). Faith does not mean we will avoid suffering, but that we know God and act on that familiarity. To put it another way, if you had said because you lost your loved one that there is no God, then you would not have faith. But if you turn to God because you lost your loved one, then you have faith.
The story of Job is instructive. God permitted Job to suffer great loss. The reaction of those around him was that he had done something to fall from God's favor. But Job remained faithful. His wife didn't understand why, "‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God, and die.' But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips" (see Job, ch. 1-2).
Faith does not mean getting over loss. Faith means that we experience the loss with God. Further, in faith we know that both we and our deceased loved ones are children of God. This means that there is more connection than separation. One Catholic counselor with whom I consulted told me that it's not about how long it will take to get over grieving but it's about connecting with the qualities inspired in you by their life, things you enjoy they taught you to enjoy, the things and memories they gave you that keep them alive for you. Finally, only in faith do we commend our departed love ones to the love and mercy of God.
United in the Faith,
Catholics United for the Faith
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