What Everyone Should Know About Death and Life

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Understanding Death & Dying, Grief & Loss Can Give Life Meaning

Did you ever hear one of those baffling truths that you fight against with your whole mind and being to not accept?  Sure, all of us have. That includes us mourners who still even weeks, months, years and decades after the loss of our loved ones don't want to accept the new reality that significant people are no longer physically present.  That's where the real struggle in grief comes -- accepting the truth that death is part of life and that our loved ones have been stolen from us by their deaths.  Death is a hard concept to wrap our minds around--a loved one here one moment and gone the next.

Here's another one of those hard to accept facts:  Death gives life meaning.

We know that each one of us will die, but in our culture we ignore that mind-numbing, soul-shattering fact.  Death is "that thing" that always happens to other people and other families, not to us.  Or so we hope.  But no matter how we try to delude ourselves or avoid the facts, all of our lives have an ending.  All good things must come to an end, right?  Even our lives, no matter how good or bad we consider our life to be.

But the good news is that Death and losses faced with knowledge, support and acceptance can give our lives meaning.  We have a choice.  We can ignore or shake in fear at the thought of our lives ending or we can allow the fact to know that our impending death puts more meaning...or possible meaning (again, our choice)...into the time we have now...the time before the end of our lives.

Are you spending your time ignoring the facts, running from them?  Or are you using that fact that Death will end your life one day to motivate you to make the most of the time you have with others right now?  That choice can mean the difference between living a life that feels fulfilled or a life that is full of regrets.

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4

Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT author of the grief survival guide “Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise”  available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Christianbook.com.

The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunica Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” on Amazon.com.

Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX  http://grief-works.org.