For us the process of caring for all individuals and families does not end the day of the funeral, rather it continues as we unfold the entire Pastoral perspective of this “Corporal Work of Mercy”. Following the initial day of the funeral service at our South Florida Catholic Cemeteries, we observe many individuals and families become regular visitors to this holy place of prayer. Truly, they have begun a journey that will lead them through this desert time to the oasis of God’s Holy peace. We all come face-to-face with the reality that embraced Mary and Marta at Bethany when their brother Lazarus had died and our hope and expectation is to be the presence and the hands of Jesus to everyone that we are entrusted to care for as Jesus taught us to do that day. Through prayers and tears, healing begins and we believe that with our guidance, each person can allow God’s blessing to embrace him or her on their journey. Prayer is a very essential part of this journey; it is the food for the soul. Sometimes something as simple as a pause in our own journey to offer support, a kind word, or an open heart to listen, is all that a person may need at that moment that God has placed before us to help them through that day . . . and we are here. Bereavement Support The death of a loved one is a major life event that can impact individuals and families in many and varied ways: emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, physically, practically, and socially. The grief that results from a loss is unique to each individual and carries with it no timetable or ‘how to’ manual. But, the presence of a healthy and functional support system is a wonderful gift that can be invaluable to anyone left to live in the world without his or her loved one. Although family and friends generally form the nucleus of those ready to help following a death, good and appropriate support can also come in other forms. Participation in a bereavement support group has long been recognized as a valuable tool in grief recovery for some. Groups provide connection, understanding and emotional and spiritual support in a caring, non- judgmental, confidential setting. Participants personally understand the challenges of daily life following the death of a loved one, and through the sharing of these common experiences and concerns, they can encourage one another, learn new coping skills and find relief from the isolation of grief. A bereavement support group is just one option for outreach. Some grievers may benefit from counseling to process their emotional and spiritual losses and will find a knowledgeable, objective listener in the trained professional. A licensed professional can provide sound psychological insights that will allow for new ways to think about, understand, and deal with loss.