St Mary's church, Upton on Mersey


Bonhoeffer on bereavement.

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"Nothing can make up for the absence of someone we love...

it is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God doesn't fill it,

but on the contrary, God keeps it empty

and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other,

even at the cost of pain...

the dearer and richer the memories,

the more difficult the separation.


But gratitude changes the pangs of memory into tranquil joy.

The beauties of the past are borne, not as a thorn in the flesh,

but as a precious gift in themselves."


Dietrich Bonhoeffer

German Lutheran pastor, theologian, participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism. Bonhoeffer was arrested in March 1943, imprisoned, and eventually executed shortly before the war's end.