February is the month of love. Losing someone we love wounds us physically, emotionally and spiritually. When one loses someone dear to them they question everything; even those who have strong faith will question and doubt their faith. Having worked with many women and families who have lost babies, I notice that each family strives to find a symbol that will help them remain connected to their lost loved one. The symbols range from animals to insects to colors to religious symbols. The angel is one such symbol. A controversial symbol that can bring comfort to some while others reject this symbol out of lack of faith or simply just not wanting to connect the figure and connotations of an angel with their personal loss.
In the book Angels by Jane Williams she describes the many meanings of angels throughout history but says that “The guardian angel is the most acceptable face of the angel….The guardian angel is the personification of God’s care for each person. Sometimes God can seem very distant and impersonal and, at such times, the angel, so much more like us, can help us feel God’s care again. The angels bring us to God and God to us.”
Whatever one feels about an angel, it remains a strong symbol of peace and love. As the New York Times article below demonstrates, sometimes one just needs to believe in something! Here, the angel at the cathedral trumps for this community in The Netherlands.