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Discussion of Grief and the Human Condition - Part 2

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under From Our Members

This is part two of a two-part series by 10 Million Clicks For Peace contributor, Corry Roach. Click here for part one.

Oddly, grief and loss carry hardship that often brings us closer together as a human family. Although the specific individuals who support us in the journey are often a surprise to us, there is a greater sense of meaning in life after bereavement. Our priorities change, giving us desire for depth of meaning in love, insight and relationships. Old relationships die off as new ones are born. We pass or fail a test of education in Life, depending on what we do with the challenges we are faced with in the experience.

Since Canadian soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan, the numbers attending Remembrance Day services in our country has grown exponentially. Our culture makes it okay to grieve on certain occasions, days, or for specific reasons or persons. And yet, when we suffer a personal loss, we tend to hide our grief away in shame or fear of being misunderstood, whether it is for the loss itself or the length of time it takes to heal from it. I must say I find this a curious habit in our western society. There appears to be a lack of education and literacy around the topic of death, bereavement and the mourning process; something I find interesting when loss is such a central part of every human life…

Death is, after all, something every single one of us will face. It is a sure thing. However, because we are not comfortable with the topic, we leave it until we can no longer avoid it. Perhaps this is why we find ourselves consistently ill prepared when death occurs in our lives. We persistently procrastinate, when we could be so much kinder to ourselves if we addressed the topic of end of life care, dying and what our wishes are for final arrangements and services. Often surveyed as a taboo subject, we ignore it until we no longer can escape its confrontation, and by then death’s occurrence is usually accompanied by stress and shock for all involved.

There must be another more effective way to do this. I think we need an open dialogue about the subject of death, dying and the journey of grief and mourning. It needs to be addressed in medical, nursing, pastoral and social work education programs. We also need to understand the vital importance that spirituality plays in the holism of what it means to be human. We need to clearly understand the difference between religion and spirituality, so that it too is dialogued about in an open and refreshing fashion. All belief systems are welcomed at the table of contents. Only then can we begin to see how much alike we all are despite our individual differences as a sea of human being-ness.

For most of us, I think we come to comparatively significant wisdom by the time we reach our elderly years. Those who have walked a life journey fraught with ups and downs have learned to move with the surges and tides. Our society tends to dismiss our elderly population’s sagacity and wisdom, mostly because we judge them by appearance rather than who they are inside that physically worn body. It is indeed from babes and the elderly that we may learn the most about the deeper mysteries of life. Babes are still aware of the ‘other side’ and the elderly are preparing to return to it. Makes it all the more a mystery as to why we don’t listen…

The late Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross used to refer to grief as the emotion of greatest blessing, for it gives the opportunity to celebrate love and the healing of unfinished business. We are given the opportunity to expand our minds, hearts and lives into greater meaning, introspection and insight into the greater mysteries beyond our understanding. More than anything else, it gives us the opportunity to resolve grief spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually, expanding our hearts and minds in the process so that we might give those who follow, our extended hand of compassion that eases their grief journey. After all, the most powerful gift within grief work itself and its resolution is that we leave a legacy that is a fitting gift to our loved one who died; a clear offering of gratitude and love to Creation.

There are Teachers within these mysteries as we search to find meaning and peace inside the intractable sadness and fear that often accompanies bereavement. Somehow, we eventually heal enough to acknowledge that the gift of life, despite all its difficulties, is indeed a humbling celebration of love, peace and enrichment of meaning within our ever expanding soul…
…and what began as bondage of great sadness and pain becomes surrender into awe and peace at the experience of being human.

Corry Roach’s website, www.ByGraceofMourning.ca offers personal and professional insight and education into the grief journey for those who mourn, from professionals to the bereaved and all who love them. Although the main focus is bereavement, loss of loved ones (or parts of ourselves) to terminal illness, dementia, aging, divorce/relationships/addictions are also discussed, as well as how to offer support. Grief resolution within ourselves is imperative, enriching our lives with personal empowerment as we work toward a life of spiritual meaning and inner peace.

Julian Kalmar and Rick Beneteau want to know if you've got what it takes to step up and be a leader in the new world transformation. CLICK HERE to find out.

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