Monday, August 17, 2009

Reflections on the grief of death

Growing up, the death of a loved one was something I always dreaded and preferred not to think about. It was extremely hard to imagine life without someone you had loved and known since birth. Death to me was this horrendous but undeniable opposite side of life; it was extremely hard to even accept let alone develop the courage to face the potential death of a loved one. The promise of an eternal life and the possibility of a reunion with those loved ones was the only thing that gave me solace and comfort.

Fortunately, I haven't experienced the loss of any family member or friend that is dearly close to me. My parents however have had to face the death of their parents and several of their close family members. While their loss was my loss, I don't think I was completely able to relate to their pain as I hadn't developed the same degree of love and connection with them like they had. I was saddened each time however and did weep in sorrow along with the other family members. While the pain of separation is always deep and intense, I expected the notion of an eternal life and the promise of a future reunion to ease the pain, but it apparently never did. Now that I think of it, deep inside of me, I was always unsure of whether the notion of an eternal life had any grain of truth to it. It was only the violent event of death that managed to stare my precious fairy tales right in the eye and left me feeling skeptical and unsure. As an ironic result, my beliefs which should have made me feel better ended up making me feel much more sad and disillusioned than I would have been if I would have accepted the impermanent nature of life with an open heart and mind.

While embracing the impermanence of life has taken effort and reconditioning on my part, I do hope that it will enable me to accept the future death of my loved ones with more grace and dignity than I would have had otherwise. I do hope that it will make it a little easier to look back, embrace and cherish the lives of the ones precious to me and prevent me from nurturing potentially hollow hopes of a future reunion just to quench the thirst of separation.


  1. Nice to meet you! :)

    Watching others go through grief is also a skill, I think. I mean how does one console others, really ... great blog and looking forward to more.


  2. Agreed. While we can lend our support and sympathy, dealing with such a loss is mostly a personal struggle.

  3. This is a very powerful post. I really do agree that it is tough, but you always come out stronger.