Basil Hume was Archbishop of Westminster 1976-1999 and Cardinal of England and Wales 1977-1999. He was also patron and a vocal supporter of the Catholic Housing Aid Society, which later became Housing Justice in 2003.

This reflection on grief was shared widely following his death in 1999. 


Cardinal Basil Hume

Grief cannot be shared, for it is mine alone.
Grief is a dying within me,
a great emptiness,
a frightening void.
It is loneliness,
a sickening sorrow at night,
on awakening a terrible dread.
Another's words do not help.
A reasoned argument explains little
for having tried too much.
Silence is the best response to another's grief.
Not the silence that is a pause in speech,
awkward and unwanted,
but one that unites heart to heart.
Love, speaking in silence, is the way into
the void of another's grief.
The best of all loves come silently,
and slowly too, to soften the pain of grief,
and begin to dispel the sadness.
It is the love of God, warm and true,
which will touch the grieving heart and heal it.
He looks at the grieving person and has pity,
for grief is a great pain.
He came among us to learn about grief,
and much else too, this Man of Sorrows.
He knows. He understands.
Grief will yield to peace - in time.