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Mary, Model of Faith for Mothers who Mourn Adult Children


By Kathy Fanger

When Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus to the temple, Simeon proclaims to Mary, “And you yourself a sword will pierce.” Luke 2:35

Mary came to know firsthand the deep grief of losing a child. Her faith saw her through her tragic loss.

As Mother’s Day nears, we hear from others pierced with grief at the deaths of their adult children.

Farelyn Lehane, Queen of Apostles Parish, shares, “Our daughter, Anne, 44, had a history of medical complications when she died suddenly five years ago of a heart attack. I have become accustomed to the pain and loss, yet there are still times when it is so fresh like I am experiencing it for the first time. Our parish grief support group taught me that this is the nature of grief. When my friend’s son died suddenly at 42, we spotted each other before Mass, collapsing into each other’s arms. Whenever I encounter grieving mothers, God’s healing presence and grace bless us both.”

Judith Loredo, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, had three children die in their 40’s from cancer. “People say, ‘It’s time to move on,’ but there’s no way to tell them how I feel. There’s such a void in my life. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and realize it’s all a dream. Mother’s Day is very sad for me. I bring flowers and clean their markers.”

Teresa, Saint Clare Parish, shares, “I adore my nieces and nephews! They are my kids!” Two years ago, Teresa’s niece, 26, suffered severe injuries when struck by a car while on her bicycle. “I begged God to take me, not my niece. Then she died! Everything has been obliterated for us! Yet I have great faith in God. I loved her so much.”

Donna D’Cruz, Queen of Apostles Parish, shares her son, Roy, 42, died on an afternoon walk three years ago. “It was such a shock! Like Mary, I pray, ‘Thy will be done.’ Jesus takes away my pain and gives me courage. My son comes to my dreams. ‘You have to smile, Mom.’ My two grandsons are growing up just like him. What a blessing! On Mother’s Day, my son would buy me the best flowers in the world. My daughter’s family now does this. I realize I am getting old. I will soon be with him.”

Molly Lecheler, Transfiguration Parish, shares, “My brother died at 26 years old. He gave Mom beautiful flowers every Mother’s Day. I tried to fill the void by sending flowers every year in his memory until she died at 94.”

Mother’s Day may be difficult, triggering many emotions. Give yourself the permission to grieve, knowing you are not alone. Turn to God and our Blessed Mother and seek out relatives and friends who will listen to your true feelings.

Many parishes offer confidential grief groups that offer support in your journey of healing. To receive a list, contact (650) 428-3730 or cemeteryinfo@dsj.org.

Veterans Tributes and Memorial Day Masses
May 29, Gate of Heaven and Calvary CemeteriesCaregivers’ Mass & Brunch
July 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Gate of Heaven Cemetery
All Saints Chapel
22555 Cristo Rey Dr., Los Altos

If you are a caregiver of a loved one in a home, we invite you and the person for whom you care if he or she is able to attend. RSVP required by July 14. Call (650) 428-3730.