All families, “without exception,” experience death, the pontiff said. Nonetheless, when it strikes a beloved family member, death never seems natural. …

Whenever a family who is in mourning “finds the strength to protect the faith and the love which unites as to all those we love,” he added, “this prevents death from taking everything. The darkness of death is confronted with a more intense work of love.”

“Our loved ones are not lost in the darkness of oblivion: hope assures us that they are in the benevolent and powerful hands of God. Love is stronger than death.”

The Pope added that, in maintaining this faith, the experience of mourning acts to strengthen solidarity within ones own family, and promotes an awareness of the suffering of other families.

“This faith, this hope, protects us from a nihilistic vision of death, as well as the false consolations of the world,” he said. …

He drew attention to the “simple and strong” witness of many families who grasp, through their faith in the Lord’s crucifixion and death, the “irrevocable promise of the resurrection of the dead.”

“God’s work of love is stronger than the work of death.”

Pope Francis