Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Out of the Shadows-Talking about Death and Grief

I have mentioned in previous posts how people become very uncomfortable around grieving people.  Oh, they can accept the prescribed amount of public mourning but after that they want the person to “get over it” because they no longer want to be faced with this uncomfortable subject.  I found a great quote by Lily Pincus, the author of Death and the Family: the importance of mourning and I agree with what she said. Pincus wrote, “Thinking and talking about death need not be morbid; they may be quite the opposite. Ignorance and fear of death overshadow life, while knowing and accepting death erases this shadow.” 

My experience has been that without the fear and attempts to ignore death I have an ease about life that I never had before.  It is not that I value life less, or value death more, it is that I see both as part of the same human experience and that acceptance has given me a peace that I never had before. Accepting death and life as equal has not stopped my feelings of loss and grief.  I think that is natural also.  I am left to live my life without the people who filled my days with love.
It is especially difficult without my son because I not only grieve for what I am missing without him in my life but also for the life that he was denied. Pincus also wrote about regression in grief and how it should not be seen as a negative sign but as a sign of healthy growth and adaptation. I think that is true too.  Grieving is not a linear experience.  There are starts and stops, stumbles and bumps, re-tracing of steps, plodding forwarding, becoming engulfed by the waves of grief, and then getting up and moving on again.  It doesn’t end at a prescribed time; it isn’t neat and tidy like many people would like it to be. It is a part of my life now and it's okay.

No comments:

Post a Comment