Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grief revisited

The anniversary of the 9/11 incident has brought up a lot of thoughts in my mind and forced me to reflect once again on grief. This historical incident happened well before our personal issues of Alzheimer's, dementia, and cancer, a time when the kids were healing and settling in to a routine, when we had friends and support in place. Then the proverbial rug was yanked out from under us.

Despite the stressors we had, I know that our situation was not as bad as some people have experienced. I am constantly humbled by those who deal with what would apparently be insurmountable grief: for example, the accident which caused this family to lose two children, and the life of a third teenager to be affected forever.

The mother of these two lost children has exhibited a tremendous amount of grace during this crisis. What she experienced is practically incomprehensible to me. Pick any day, any school morning, with its stresses, its chaos, and its assumption of normalcy, and then throw in a world-shattering event of huge loss and add in having to make decisions with great immediacy, such as donating your child's organs. How does anyone recover from something like this?

My children are getting to the age where I will let them play outside unsupervised, where I will leave them at the bus stop without obsessing if they will be safe. This perception of safety is simply that--a perception, an illusion. At any time things can change forever.

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