By David Coy
Courage is defined not as the absence of fear but as persevering in the midst of fear. There is a real challenge for many people in the beginning of their journey with grief. We teach and prepare our children for life and all the pitfalls and difficulties. What of the facts and struggles about death? What do we teach our children to prepare them for dealing with what all of us will eventually face? Some believe that working through one’s grief prevents disintegration of mind, body and spirit from many illnesses. Madame de Stael believes, “We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.” Many people with whom I have spoken with have shared agreement with this philosophy.
They that struggle the most with grief are those who do not understand the facts about death and loss and those who struggle with accepting the reality of loss in its various forms. We need to educate our children and grandchildren, hopefully before they actually experience a major loss. They need to understand that loss at any age and for any reason is possible. There are no guarantees in life. Not for a long life, not that our children will outlive us, not that something totally unfair and horrible from our standards will never happen to us. Anything is possible, and to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Ancient writers have said that when we encounter adversity, we have the opportunity to develop endurance. This is true because rarely do we experience tribulation only once in life. Also, we are not alone in our struggle. If we look around, there are others who are struggling in their journey with grief, and you can help them cope.
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