More from Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God by Ginny Kubitz Moyer.
“Grief is a long process, healing takes time and nobody understand that better than the woman who lost both of the men she loved: her husband and her son. And just as Mary kept her faith even in the most difficult circumstances…one of the steps toward healing is learning how to integrate the loss into one’s overal spiritual journey.” One of the women Moyer interviewed commented, “One thing I have learned is that the question is not, ‘Why did this happen?’ but ‘What do you want me to learn from this, and how may I better serve you, Lord, because of this life experience?'”
“Though Mary is loved for many things-her faith, her grace, her beauty-it’s her vulnerability that makes the Blessed Mother accessible…” It can be easier for some to “identify with her [Mary] more and consider following her example when [one] think[s] of her as someone more human than she is usually portrayed.”
“Although the title Our Lady of Sorrows refers to Mary’s loss of her son, Jesus’ death was not her first encounter with grief. Though the Gospels are silent on the details, we know that Mary also lost her husband, Joseph.”
“The circumstances of Joseph’s death are unknown to us, but there’s little doubt that Mary mourned the loss of her husband. Joseph, the quiet figure in the background, had repeatedly shown the depth of his love for his small family. In many ways, one could say that his life was geared toward protection. He stood by Mary in the early days, marrying a woman who was pregnant with a child that was not his own. In a crowded city, he scouted out a private place for his wife to give birth, ensuring a roof over her head. When Herod’s bloodlust threatened Joseph’s family, he led them to a safe harbor in a foreign land. Though the Gospels are silent on the personal relationship between husband and wife, all of the evidence points to a generous and gentle man who made numerous sacrifices to protect his wife and child. His death must have been a great sorrow to Mary.”