Several months ago, the spouse of a friend of mine lost a very close relative in a sudden accident. My friend was heartbroken, and concerned for the spouse, who was even more heartbroken. Death is stunning and grief is much worse.
The massacre of six-year-old children and the teachers who tried to protect them in Newtown, Conn., has filled us all with horror and sadness. As someone who was served up more than my fair share of horror and sadness at a young age, I am something of an expert on grief. Well, that is probably overstating things. I have never read a book on grief. I don’t have a degree in it. No one pays me to sit on a panel and discuss it. What I am, is very, very familiar with it.
And so I told my friend, as I want to tell other people who are suffering from the pain of what happened in Newtown or from losses that have struck them personally, that grief is an awful thing to feel. But the payoff of grief is that eventually you appreciate life more. I know this because I have felt it. So, if you are in the throes of mourning or in the long, dull numbness that can follow, I have some strange-sounding advice for you. Stick with it. Because you won’t feel this way forever.