Besides death and taxes, one thing we will all meet at least once in our lives is grief.  I suppose there are humans who feel nothing, and I can’t help but pity them, even the psychos (for had the capacity to feel grief, they might not be what they are or were).  Really if one cannot experience grief emotionally one is missing a foo-foo shaft or gangling rod somewhere upstairs.

It’s good to prepare for grief, even as a young adult.  But of course that which brings grief,  no one wants to “practice.”  However, I still encourage contemplation of one’s own death, for without being able to accept your corporeal extinction, one really cannot live life to its fullest.  Such meditation does require guidance though, to avoid any “road hazards.”  If you attempt such, abide in the comfort that you never die, and you are never born, you are of the universal consciousness.  You are in the stream, and this life is but a vortex, a fleeting one.

Often many youngsters today face grief when it smacks them in the face, as so many lose family and friends to violence or accidents by car or gun, or so sadly, by taking their own lives. Just this week close to where I live 4 high school students died when two cars collided head-on. I heard and immediately felt for the families and friends who got that news.  To get such news is emotionally cataclysmic.  Grief is a funny thing, and each person will find they have to deal with it ultimately by themselves, but not necessarily alone.  Reach out to the grieving with real sympathy; loving notes, cards, poems, songs can mean a whole lot, but accentuate the positive.

Even knowing for months that my late wife was terminal (25 yrs ago), when she died in my arms I was not prepared.  It hit me like a ton of lead.  For many weeks I grieved privately, alone, and the grief took me through a life epiphany.  I found a song by Bobby “Blue” Bland called Angel, and I would play it in my car going to work, and cry my eyes out for 30 minutes each day until the tears left.  Her angel showed me that if I would just give of myself to others, my grief would dissipate and be converted to a thing of beauty. It worked.

I don’t know how to advise anyone to prepare for grief, but I think one way is to store up the joy of having your loved ones in your life now, alive.  That joy will convert in grief, should the event happen, converting to positive energy that will buoy your spirit to the far shore.  Yet these episodes are extremely painful to say the least, but without pain there is no JOY in our lives.  Sunshine and rain.

I had a doctor a year or so ago who had just lost his wife.  He was going on seeing patients, but I had heard of his loss and extended my condolences.  I had gone back to work immediately after my wife passed…..I encourage that also.  We had a rare doctor-patient moment.  He cried a little.  We always think of doctors/surgeons as able to deal with death, but of course they feel, maybe even more than the average patient.  I told him of my loss. And I gave him some advice.  I pray he got through “it.”

Animals grieve.  But humans can carry grief a long time.  After 25 years I still shed a tear now and then, but it waters the Tree of the seed she planted in my soul.

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