OBSERVATION: The massacre of 20 kindergartners and 6 adults in Connecticut has traumatized children and parents everywhere with fear and grief. Sadly, the fear may never go away. There are more possibilities when it comes to grief.

Grief is among the most intense and debilitating emotions we can experience. It can overwhelm every other emotion and sentence us to a dark cold dungeon where hope and even the will to live are crushed by the weight of our pain. When grief is at its strongest, we can’t even muster the will to get out. Though we are alone in this dungeon, we can hear the people who love us try to console and encourage us, and though there efforts don’t lessen the pain, there is some comfort knowing they are out there.

Grief is not something we can rush through or extinguish with will power or positive thinking.  It goes through stages and, though the length of each stage differs among us, each stage has to run its course.

This does not mean we are helpless or that the people who love us are useless.

In time, we will  discover that there are no bars, locked doors or jailers keeping us in the dungeon. The way out is an unguarded labyrinth of narrow unlit stairways and tunnels.

The people on the outside have to continually remind us that we can climb our way out and that there is  a world outside filled with people who love us and need us, people who find our imprisonment a source of their own grief.

Though our rescuers must often bear angry and unappreciative demands that they leave us alone, their prodding and encouragement can give us the strength and desire to begin the journey. And if they wave a torch at the end of the last tunnel slivers of light will show us the way out.

See quotations on grief at http://goo.gl/OvotB


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