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Invisible Mourners

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted"

(Matthew 5:4 ESV)

These past few months were touched by the loss of several people known to me and the passing of others close to those in my circle.

A theme that struck me when I reflected on the lives of some lost, and of those they left behind, was how abundant and rich those lives had been. Lives of longings fulfilled. And indeed, in their passing, the attendant loss and pain were met with the comfort and recognition of those around.

As wonderful as it is to mark lives well lived and contented, it made me reflect on how many lives never see their longings fulfilled; lives punctuated by broken dreams or disappointment that go unremarked and unsupported by others. I think of the couple who never had hoped-for children, those whose quest to find love remains unanswered, those who never knew opportunity nor had the luxury to dream, those who miscarry babies. These losses are frequently not afforded the credibility of the losses of those who had, but no longer have. The ones who never had are left to hold their 'loss' privately, unspoken and rest stoic in their sorrow. They are invisible mourners – though not invisible to God.

Maybe that is you. Jesus said: "blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. He sees your sorrow and carries it with the same care and healing as any loss. I fancy the world is full of invisible mourners, whose grief is never recognised, and so, never shared. Losses offered no oxygen and which cannot invite comforters.

As we rightly support those who grieve the loss of loved ones, whose lives were rich and fulfilled, let us also remember those whose grief remains hidden, silent but nonetheless real. Be aware of the invisible mourner.

Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2021

Scripture quotations are from The ESV®Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Thanks so much for these very moving comments below on a sensitive subject. It brought to mind the comfort we have that, as with the disciples in the boat on the stormy seas, Jesus is in the boat with us too - through our storms.


This reflection really spoke to me Sharmila. I will be attending a funeral this week. Death and grief is still quite a difficult subject to speak openly about, but there will be many particularly in the last year who have experienced sorrow and have not been able to do the normal things to help lessen their pain. But God draws alongside us in our pain, and he gives us strength to go and for that we remain very grateful.

Replying to

Dear Rosalind, thank you for taking time to comment. No doubt it's a sensitive time for you with a funeral this week. You make very poignant points about the current season, with the encouraging note that God is with us! Best. S


A very powerful and thoughtful reflection. Thanks Sharmila. We're currently working through the funeral service of my mother-in-law, and later in this month, we will bury my mother's ashes. For both of them, much has been said and reflected over good, Christian lives, well-lived. And then I think of the funerals with no mourners, or those for whom the next of kin can't find much to say about them. There is much emptiness and pain. And, as you say, for those who were never fulfilled as they hoped... Would you mind if I shared your reflection in my email to my folk here, please?

Replying to

Dear Rev, this was something very special that you have shared. Thank you sincerely - I am sure it will touch others. I am very sorry to hear of these close losses. Please accept my condolences to the family. In your role, you will have witnessed much of life's highs and lows and had to share the pain of many. I will reply privately to your request. Thanks again (and great to hear from you). Sharmila


Reminds us to be kind to everyone because we don't know what they are going through.

Replying to

Hello there! Thank you so much for checking into The Mission Post and for this insightful comment. How true! As Joyce Meyer says: "you only know what you know, you don't know what you don't know".


Dear Readers, thank you for checking in to The Mission Post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's message and whether the theme rings true to you. All the best, Sharmila

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