Consolation in order to console

A seminar on widowhood at an international meeting of the Focolare’s New Families Movement. Testimonies of overcoming pain and grief through self-giving.

Tiziana, a widow for six years, spoke to the 1, 187 participants from 17 countries at the New Families Congress that was held at Castelgandolfo (February 28 – March 2).

Ample time was given to a discussion on widowhood, interspersed with contributions from specialists and real life experiences.

“First there is the initial shock,” explained psychotherapist Dr. Angelo Alessi. “Then there is desperation followed by sadness and resignation. The moment of accepting the loss is a sign of hope and healing, allowing oneself to express honestly the feelings and pain, rebuilding the bridges with the outside world are a few of the ways of not becoming caught up in the feelings that usually block a person”

“The loss of Cosimo was a great trial for me,” Rosa confided. “I felt empty. I set out to perform many acts of love and I experienced a very deep peace. Faith that God is Love made me hope, it gave me consolation in order to be able to console others. It instilled a certainty within me that it hadn’t all ended but that everything had to go on.”

Chiara Lubich says: “Our beloved dead are in God. Now we can continue to love one another through Him because the love that they had for us on earth remains. Indeed, it is perfected and unable to fluctuate”.

Another experience of the Spirit was shared by Ilde’s widower: “My conversations with her continue and accompany me throughout the day, now more than ever. She’s already arrived there. Ilde is with me in this portion of my journey that remains to me here on earth until we meet again.”

Tiziana’s son, Matteo, who was 16 years old at the time of his father’s death, told the audience about the process that led him from anger and interior laceration to calming the great interior void through gestures of helping and sharing: “The more I helped someone the more I felt Dad was near and there was a great peace within me. . . At times I thought that if Dad had not died, perhaps I would never have experienced this.” Beyond the immeasurable suffering and loneliness that mourning brings, the bonds of love remain and can continue to bear fruit as a sign of hope. This seemed to be the main message that emerged from these deep moments.




  1. Mª del Carmen Ostenero Lira

    Hace cuatro años mi marido también falleció. He sentido todos esos sentimientos: la soledad, la rabia, el dolor y me preguntaba si es que yo no era capaz de ver el Amor de Dios en estas circunstancia. Poco a poco fui rindiéndome a la Voluntad de Dios y empecé a sentir la paz y solo dándome a mis hijos, a mis nietos y empeñarme en el Movimiento, he empezado a caminar en esta nueva vida, sin su presencia física, pero siento que sigue más cerca de nosotros de lo que podemos imaginar.¡Lo único que no muere es el Amor! GRACIAS


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