Later Life Ramblings, Feb. 25

Shirley Lowe is an advocate for seniors' and writes about topics of interest

Our family suffered a great loss last week when a beloved otherwise healthy 65- year-old sister- in-law passed very suddenly with a brain aneurism.   This shocked everyone to the core and coping skills are tested.                                                                                                                                              Each week we read in the paper loving tributes to lost family members and feel great empathy.  We can never imagine the loss until we experience the death of someone close. The depth of loss is personal to each individual and the support of family and friends must be ongoing.                                                                         While researching grief I found many words of wisdom such as:

Grief has its own life span, unique to each of us.

Grief has a rhythm of its own.                                                                                                                  When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.  The people we trust with that important talk can help us to know we are not alone.

There are several stages to grief:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance and hope.  Each feeling can spring up long after the loss, at any time. We must allow our grief to play out and come out of the darkness with the happy memories.  Time heals – as does nature.                                                                       Earl Grollman wrote: “Grief is the price we pay to love. The only cure for grief is to gri-eve.”

To quote Wm. Shakespeare: “Give sorrow word’s – the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.”

It is sure that we will all face loss in our lives and it seems unanimous that grief should be shared. To celebrate the life of a loved one with a gathering of friends and family can bring everyone closer and may help shorten the healing process.                                                                                                                                Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell – Keep going!”