Sunday, November 10, 2013

Death and Life

Eleven years ago today my dad's mother passed away.

I think a lot of people have misconceptions about grief--especially in the western world.  This past week, we talked about death in my health psychology class and how it's sort of taboo'd in our society.  People seem almost afraid to talk about death and they don't always know how to act when someone is grieving.  Then there are the beliefs that people only need a few days to deal with the grief.  One of the points made in class was that people will get three days leave of work if it was a sibling or a friend who passed but five days if it was a significant other (or something like that).  Grief time is allotted with regard to supposed emotional closeness.

Does that seem as bizarre to you as it does to me?  Who can say how people will react to grief?  Who can say how long it will take people to "move on"?  Grief is a very personal thing and everyone progresses differently.  Just because it has been three or six months since a friend lost their sibling, parent or other associate does not mean that they are "better"--it just means that it has been three or six months.

My grandma passed away eleven years ago and there are days that I still find myself missing her like crazy and sometimes I'm close to tears.  Granted they are not many, but they are still there sometimes.  That doesn't mean I'm weak or broken.  It just means I'm human.

Five years ago today, a little boy named Ezekiel was born.  He's a crazy kid who has way too much energy (ALL the time), admires super heroes, is learning the joys of reading, and puts his heart into everything.

A death day and a birthday of two people that I have known and know, of two people that I loved and love.  I never really thought of it before, but tonight as I was biting into some cake in celebration, I couldn't help but think how cool it is that what at one point was a day of mourning and sadness can also be a day of joy and hope.
image via google

Death is a part of life and I don't think that it should be taboo'd or ignored.  I don't want to be afraid of talking about death.  And I also think that in thinking about death, life shouldn't be ignored either.  Both are companions that walk hand in hand and both are more precious because of the other.

Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, I choose to remember those that have died in sacrifice to win life and peace for us.

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