Midweek Musings: November 10, 2022

Dear Friend,

This past Sunday we celebrated All Saints/Remembrance Sunday in worship. One of the things I appreciate most about this Sunday is that it exists—that we create space in worship to remember together, to grieve together. There are so few other places in our world where that exists.

I don’t often have a theme for the weeks I curate the Midweek Musings (aside from the theme being “Things I find interesting this week”), but this week, I’ve intentionally put in things related to grief or remembrance. Some are what you might expect, including an incredible podcast conversation between Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert about the losses in their lives (both lost their father at a young age and one or more siblings), but some are a little unexpected, like a video about taxidermy that is actually a love letter to life.

Whether or not grief feels present in your life right now, I hope there is something here that will speak to you and/or help you either as you navigate your own grief or as you help others navigate theirs.

Many blessings,
Pastor Sarah

something Worth reading

How to Support a Grieving Family Member or Friend: 6 Principles

by Eleanor Haley

It often feels like All Saints Day leads up into a season of holidays when grief can rear it’s obnoxious little head. Here are some practical ways you can support those you love who have suffered a loss recently or a long time ago.

Read the full article here.

something worth hearing

Grateful for Grief

Anderson Cooper & Stephen Colbert

I don’t generally listen to podcasts—I prefer audiobooks and so use time I have for listening for those, but I made an exception for this conversation between Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert on grief and I’m glad I did. It’s a wide ranging conversation about the gifts that come from grief. There are many parts worth quoting or sharing, but I’ll just share this one snippet:

“We think we can win against grief. We think we can fix it. But you can’t. You can only experience it. And to fully experience that, you have to accept that it’s real. The loss is real. I don’t know about you, but I’m very good at rewriting reality to fit what I’d like it to be on any given moment. And in my entire life, I’ve had to work very hard to not do that. So I can actually see what’s actually happening and I think there’s a fear of grief. That grief itself is a form of death. That grief itself is a form of defeat. And we want to stay on top and we want to win. We don’t want bad things to happen, whereas grief is not a bad thing. Grief is a reaction to a bad thing. Grief itself is a natural process that has to be experienced. I’m hesitant to use the word endured because endured sounds like resistance. And you can’t win against grief because you’re the one doing it to you. You can’t beat you. You know all of your buttons, you know all of your secrets, and you’ll never get around this grief.”

something worth watching

Rearranging Skin: A Love Letter to the World

Salt Project

This short documentary has been selected to Raindance (Britain’s version of Sundance) and shortlisted for consideration for an Oscar. It’s a beautiful, surprising film ostensibly about taxidermy, but really about craft and love of the world and conservation. I highly recommend it.

something worth praying

God of the Living: A Blessing

Jan Richardson

When the wall
between the worlds
is too firm,
too close.

When it seems
all solidity
and sharp edges.

When every morning
you wake as if
flattened against it,
its forbidding presence
fairly pressing the breath
from you
all over again.

Then may you be given
a glimpse
of how weak the wall

and how strong what stirs
on the other side,

breathing with you
and blessing you
forever bound to you
but freeing you
into this living,
into this world
so much wider
than you ever knew.

from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

You Might Also Enjoy …