Hello, my sister lost her 4 year old daughter when shr drown a few years ago but her greif is so severe her mental health is suffering so much. She is finding it hard to connect emotionally to her other child. She is suicidal at times but stays for her son and has battled with addiction in the past which she is also struggling with but is resisting temptation.
I am extremely sorry to hear that and hope your sister will persevere through these hard times. I’d considered prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and pray that your sister can face the grief of her daughter and still want to seek and become closer to God. I can not imagine the pain of a parent losing a child, and it must never such a great suffering, and definitely a suffering that can be offered up for the soul of her daughter. And to help your sister battle addictions you should say a novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe for her. I’ll keep your sister in my prayers and may great graces come out of this tragedy.
I am so sorry to hear about your sister’s loss. I will pray for her and for her family.
Saint Felicitas of Rome is the patron saint of parents who have lost children. Here is a novena to her:
I think Saint Elizabeth Seton is the patron saint of grief - she lost her husband and 2 of her children.
Also, there is Saint Anne, who suffered great humiliation and heartache after being infertile for many years. When God gifted her with a beautiful daughter, Mary (Our Lady), Saint Anne had to give her up several years later when Mary entered the temple permanently, as a temple virgin. Saint Anne’s heartache would have been immense. I’m sure she too, understands your sister’s grief. Here is a novena to her, that I have heard is very powerful for obtaining graces:
Or, tell her to pray to Our Lady of Sorrows:
I know there are so many patron saints of addiction, suicide, mental illness, etc (like Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Dymphna, Saint Philomena, Saint Kateri…) Maybe you could pray to these saints for your sister.
I hope this helps, God bless you and your family
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of death of children and of grief for a deceased loved one generally. She lost her beloved husband and I believe several of her children.
St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron saint of addiction. St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was an opium addict himself, and Venerable Matt Talbot was a recovering alcoholic.
I am sure some of these saints can help your sister. I will pray for her too.
Thank you for your replies and prayers
Would saint Jude be appropriate here as a time of desperation?
St. Jude is always appropriate. I pray to him regularly because he was my father’s chosen patron saint.
Edited to add, you are also always free to pray to any saint you like (by “pray to”, I mean “ask for the intercession of”, to be very clear), for any reason or any issue, any time. Many people have a favorite saint or a patron saint that they chose themselves, to whom they pray regularly for many different things.
Wisdom 3:2-9 But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them.
2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery:
3 And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace.
4 And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality.
5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
6 As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them.
7 The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds.
8 They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
9 They that trust in him, shall understand the truth: and they that are faithful in love shall rest in him: for grace and peace is to his elect.
Romans 8:28 And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints.
Bereavement or grief that continues to pass into years has morphed into depression.
Saint Dymphna, I’m sure, would be good to ask for intercession.
Secular treatment needs to be utilized as well, like medical doctors and psychologists, counseling, etc
First, the Blessed Mother watched her son suffer and die. She is the greatest patron of all.
Your Diocese should be able to direct her to a Catholic grief support group. She needs to find support from others who have gone down the same road. If she cannot find a Catholic group, find a generic Christian group.
There are some excellent books, “A Travel Guide to Heaven” is one and Peter Kreeft’s book on “Heaven” come to mind. C. S. Lewis work on grief is outstanding.
Lou I’ll add my prayers for your sister and her son.
Saint Therese’s mother lost four of her little children, including her only sons.
Therese’s mother and father are also both canonized Saints, Saint Zellie and Saint Louis Martin.
Saint Louis suffered with a mental illness in his last years,
so this blessed Martin family is also a wonderful source of intercession for your sister and her family.
My prayers for you also, in the pain you feel for your sister and your nephew, and for the little niece whom you lost from this world.
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