Jorge Megías and his wife, Puri Roca, coordinators of the Group

Resurrection: The Method of Accompaniment in Transcendent Mourning That Heals and Evangelizes

After the suffering of the loss of a family member, a breath of faith and hope from a Catholic sensibility

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(ZENIT News / Barcelona, 23.04.2024).- The loss of a family member or a dear one is usually devastating for the family or closest circle. The pain and sadness often makes people wonder how God can permit such a thing.

In face of these problems, many coaches or psychologists are unable to understand the background of pain that only faith can soften. Hence, an initiative has arisen that intends to offer support and accompaniment to people affected by the loss of a loved one.

The Resurrection Group is a Movement made up of people that seek to accompany, evangelize and heal those in mourning. ZENIT talked with Jorge Megías and his wife, Puri Roca, coordinators of the Group, which seeks to accompany and heal the pain from a Catholic sensibility and that, little by little, is making its way in the pastoral care of mourners in Spain.

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Q: Who are Jorge Megías and Puri Roca and how are they able to promote this Group, which little by little is making its way in pastoral care and touching lives?

A: We, Jorge Megías and Puri Roca, are a married couple that live in Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid). A few years ago our daughter, Irene, died at 17, due to a meningococcal septicemia. This event disrupted our lives radically. So much so that both of us, estranged from the Church for almost 40 years, converted to God, we married in the Church and created an NGO: The Irene Megías Foundation against Meningitis (today transformed into the Spanish Association Against Meningitis), as a consequence of our daughter’s death. Since 2021, the couple is dedicated to coordinating Resurrection mourning groups and to making their number grow throughout Spain.

Q: What does the Resurrection Group do exactly? What is its objective?

A: The Group works in two ambits:

On one hand, in the reality of MUTUAL HELP [“MUTUA AYUDA”] given that the mere fact that each mourner shares their feelings and thoughts with the rest of the Group’s mourners, a mutual healing influence occurs among all of them, among one another. This is a reality recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO): “A group of mutual help is a community resource that does not enter in the category of a professional resource, but which is included in the measures adopted by non-professionals to promote and restore the health of a specific community (1977).

On the other hand, the SPIRITUALITY of the mourners is reinforced, which is usually disfigured in face of the death of a dear one, sharing in the faith of the present eternal Life of the deceased, in the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ (which already occurred), and in one’s own (which will occur when the Lord comes to the Earth for the second time in His Parousia). That is, this is an activity that not only heals but also evangelizes.

There are 12 meetings of weekly frequency of two hours duration, in which a thematic methodology is followed, which addresses one by one the human realities proper to all mourners: strangeness, guilt, forgiveness, detachment, etc. in a Christian environment.

The meetings begin with the sign of the cross and an invocation to the Holy Spirit; then there is a biblical reading and a commentary on it, and several prayers that are appropriate to the topic being treated, etc. The meetings are closed; the same people always attend them, and kept in them is the seal on what the mourners share.

It is not a psychotherapy group continued over an indeterminate time, in the style of psychoanalysis, but it is an itinerary of 12 meetings, with a beginning and an end. At the end of the 12 meetings, the mourners have ended their itinerary and in the group’s next edition, the mourners will be different from those of the previous itinerary.

The final objective is that the mourners grow, mature, acquire a broader awareness of the reality, including understanding of the supernatural realities of the new life of their dear one, physically absent, and the meaning of death as something that is a natural part of human life.

In a word, it is for mourners to be able to find a new meaning to their lives; to attain interior peace; harmony with themselves, with the world and with God. To enjoy life, to experience the joy of living, of plenitude, of happiness, and to have a greater and better life, more human and more divine than that which they had before the death of their dear one.

Q: Why do they think that it is hard to ask for help, to let themselves be helped and, especially, to love?

A: When a dear one has just died, a “mourner” lives in an atmosphere of death, suffers wounds in the six constitutive dimensions of the human being (corporal, emotional, intellectual, social, of values and spiritual), he does not understand what has happened  and does not understand himself in the midst of his suffering. In this atmosphere of disorientation, the mourner does not know what he must do to heal his suffering. When he is conscious of the void that the death of his loved one has left in his life, and has sufficient humility to let himself be helped and is willing to relearn to live, is when the appropriate conditions exist to be able to ask for help and to integrate in one of these Resurrection mourning groups.

Q: What is the dynamic of these support groups? Who make up this group (psychologists, health workers, coaches)?

A: Basically, it’s about 1) forming a parish group with 10 to 12 mourners, people suffering because of a dear one’s death; and 2) the group is headed by one person, the coordinator that, in a more general case, has gone through this same suffering, has been healed through this methodology and then has been formed to carry out the function of coordinator.

Q: How have these groups been accepted in dioceses? Are they being entrusted with some form of Pastoral Care?

A: Their acceptance is very high as the groups respond to the real need of mourners to mourn by the hand of God. There are many other immanent healing options to live one’s mourning, but the Resurrection mourning group does not only include hope in the future reencounter with the absent dear one, but mechanisms that contribute interior languages of love, useful to continue having  a joyful relationship of love with the being who now lives in the Love of God. In the Resurrection group there is transcendent mourning, which is completely unbeatable compared to immanent mourning.

Q: How can one become part of this mission? What is required?

A: The ideal profile to coordinate a Resurrection mourning group is a person who has mourned previously, whose suffering was healed in one of these mourning groups, who has received the necessary formation (theoretical, practical and permanent) and is willing to give what he has received.

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