Patreon Only: Litany for Grieving

I recently sat with my grandmother in the last days of her life. My mom and I were there holding her hand as she took her last breaths. It was a profound experience that has brought me to think about all the forms grief takes, and my own experience of grieving - how unpredictable it is, how sometimes consuming, how suddenly past only to reappear again. We grieve events, losses, trauma, time passing, people passing… and I’m coming to believe that grieving is not just some mental or emotional space that we are plunged into by life events; it is also a skill we can practice and hold space for. And the only way to get through this life whole is to learn the skill. If we can’t accept pain and process it through appropriate grief, we will be constantly resisting the experience of life. Through grief, we learn to integrate experiences we (dualistically) judge to be “good” and “bad”, bringing them into wholeness. The more life I experience, the more I’m convinced that learning to hold the tension of grief is as powerful a life skill as, say, positive thinking or good communication or self-care. Here's a prayer for skill-building, available on my Patreon page.

If my work has value to you and your community, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon, where you get access to exclusive litanies and content. This month’s Patreon-only litany is Litany for Grieving.

Litany for Forgiving Others

God, it is our nature to keep record of wrongs (1).
It is your nature to forgive (2,5).
We tend to let wounds fester.
You offer light, air, and healing.
We tend to get stuck in bitterness and pain.
You embody freedom.

Come now, into the places where our hearts have been wounded
Where we have been betrayed or abandoned
    Or disrespected
    Or overlooked
    Or kicked while we’re down
    Or stolen from
    Or slandered
    Or misunderstood.
Come now, into the dark parts of us that want revenge
    That want to grind axes,
    That want our enemies to suffer
    That want to keep a list of grievances
    That want to prove how strong we are
    That want to defend ourselves.
Replace our pride and bitterness
With superhuman love.

This is hard work for us:
Becoming like you
Turning the other cheek
Making ourselves vulnerable (3).
It’s why we need you so much -
Because we are weak.
We need you to move mountains for us:
Mountains of pain and resentment.

Strength, wholeness, and redemption
Life, peace, and resurrection
Are in forgiveness;
And in forgiving, we are forgiven (4).

Amen

(1) 1 Cor 13:5
(2) Ps 103:10-14
(3) Matt 5:39
(4) Matt 6:14-15
(5) Ps 130:3,4