Designed , developed & Hosted By Kishoo, Barkur
This page is updated regularly, please refresh or reload on your visit.
Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site Barkur.com, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:- www.stthomasap.org).
I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our Barkur.com web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.
My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our Barkur.com web site.
A GRIEVING FAMILY WHEN THEIR CHILD DIES.
Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade
upset with everything and ask questions such as; “Why did
God take our baby?”, “Does God have any mercy?”, “This is
unfair!”, or “I can’t go on without my child!” These statements
are often accompanied by intense, sudden outbursts of weeping, moaning
and also sudden periods of total silence. One needs to recognize this as
normal behavior and a healthy reaction to the loss of a child or baby.
Chaplains or caregivers can offer a great deal of
support during this time by listening intently and using short phrases
of compassion and condolence, such as; “I am very sorry to hear how
you are feeling, please know you are in my prayers.” If the family
asks one to pray with them I strongly encourage the caregiver to do
that. Avoid phrases such as; “it is God’s will,” or “your child
joined the angels.”
Families who are Catholic or Christian may ask for
baptism or a blessing for their dying child. In our hospital we gave
families baptismal candles and also sent them a certificate later on.
Non-Christian families still need all the spiritual support they can get
so the chaplain or caregiver needs to be prepared to offer them support.
In supporting families, during such a difficult time, it may be
appropriate to embrace family members at this time, but if people are
uncomfortable with touch we should respect their boundaries. In most
instances the chaplain or caregiver should refrain from sharing their
own personal experiences of grief or loss with grieving families. When
we tell our stories the focus shifts away from their grief to our own
People grieve in various ways. One person’s
experience of loss may differ significantly from others. Chaplains or
caregivers need to be very sensitive in what they say. Also, when
attending a child’s funeral, remember to listen more than talk.
Follow up with these families is important and can be
done by sending a sympathy card, making a personal visit or phone call,
and/or remembering the anniversary death of the child. Our purpose being
to bring comfort and consolation to these families. Grief has its own
course and we all know that. As months and years go by grief may not be
as intense as it once was. But, whatever support caregivers can give is
much appreciated by the grieving family.
In conclusion, be assured of my humble prayers for
the families who have experienced the loss of a child recently or years
ago. May those beautiful children rejoice in the peaceful kingdom of our
creator God forever, in heaven where there is no more sorrow, weeping or
pain ...only love and peace.
(My sincere thanks to Dr. Hemanth Kumar, MBBS, for donating the portrait “MOTHER’S LOVE.” Dr. Hemanth Kumar is a physician in Sastan.- Fr.Tony)
Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210
Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.