Sacred Stories | God’s Presence in Grief

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

One Sunday afternoon I got a call from a colleague. She told me that her young son was receiving CPR. He had been born with an imperfect physical heart, but his emotional heart was perfect beyond his years. He impacted the lives of many staff members and was a treasured friend to their children.

During his five days in the intensive care unit, we all prayed for him – hoping for healing. But the miracle we were asking for did not arrive, and he died.

Working together in our small hospital and community, our staff has celebrated and mourned many life events together. Even so, this child’s death was very difficult. We were all challenged and called to care for each other in addition to caring for our patients.

An outpouring of care and support came from expected and unexpected places. Our clinical team, clinicians and technicians from other hospitals in our division, and others stepped in so our department’s work would be covered.

Surprising things brought connection and comfort. The colleague’s son lived on this earth 11 years, 11 months, and 11 days. His shoe size also corresponded with this same number, and his favorite football player also wore that number on his jersey. We think that’s unique and a sign from God.

As we continue to navigate this journey, we learn more about how grief molds and changes you, and how you don’t “get over” a loss such as this. There is a new way of being, and we all learn and re-learn how and what that is. Love continues to be a balm for our pain.

Submitted by Camille Settelmeyer

Questions for Reflection

When has a tragic or difficult loss brought you together as a community?

In the midst of grief or loss, how can you show compassion and kindness without minimizing a person’s pain? 

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.