Grieving For The Dear Departed

 

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By P Chong                                                         Sat. 23 Oct. 2010

Grieving is universal. It doesn’t differentiate between colour, race or creed. There’re no boundaries between classes of economic status. Grieving is essential for the soul, mind & body. However, how does one grieve?

Personally, there’s no set form for grief. People grieve for relief, solace, or sadness & there’s no right or wrong way in expressing it. According to sociologists at various universities opinion can differ from one to the other.

There should however be stages of grief. First comes the acceptance to be expected out of this natural phenomenon. This is followed by the healing process and then there has to be the moving-on process. You can’t keep on grieving for the rest of your natural life. For the living, life goes on and so must you.

When a person passed on, it’s not not just a digital statistic, he or she is someone’s grandparent, father or mother, husband or wife, uncle or aunty and so on. The deceased is many persons in one . . . dear to someone. For the widow or widower, it could mean moving on in finding new partner. To love again? Why not?

What about attendance at funeral? Your presence of course is a question of honour & due respect for the departed. But some people can’t bear being at funeral. So long some representation of kind or person is being arranged, it’s the heart within that really counts. There are in fact hypocrites who wail and cry aloud at funeral, but to what end and purpose?

Modern technology has replaced or substitute for cases who simply cannot make it for the funeral because of distances & circumstances. Out of town or country mourners keep vigil & pay respect via electronic media where video clips or slide shows are available for viewing. This is the burgeoning trend that allowed people to share memories & eulogies.

Video or slide show tributes chronicling the deceased’s past are shown during visitations and memorial services are being held at funeral parlours. The trend is towards celebrating the life of the dear departed.

As a matter of fact, we cry from the cradle to the grave. The day we were born, we uttered our first cry . . . then we were crying for this & that . . . and sooner or later, we cry for others or others cry for us! What a life of crying! It’s crying to no end. We celebrate our birth. We celebrate our marriage. Why not we celebrate or let others celebrate our good life?

In the presentation of the eulogy, the speaker may well moderate emotion enough to focus on the joyous & good experiences of the dear departed with a clear mind.

Healing process comes through looking back on the past experiences & reminisces & sharing the joy rather than the sadness among relatives & friends. It is not to say that it’s unnatural to feel pain & the sense of loss.

At funerals & hereafter, in observing devotion & dedication, there are these actions to consider:

To take a look at one’s own life

A time for reflection

A time for resolution

A time to act

That life is a journey not a destination

Try to make it as interesting & loving for self & others!

In recent memory of my brother-in-law Brother Kheng in Taipei, Taiwan.


4 thoughts on “Grieving For The Dear Departed

  1. Charles Christano

    Dear Paul.

    You are right by concluding that we shed tears from the cradle to the grave. But to keep the balance, tears are not always coterminus with sadness or loss. There are tears of joy as well.

    From our own experiences, after we dry off our tears, we can get a clearer vision. Therefore Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 teaches us this wisdom: “You learn more at a funeral than at a feast – After all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover from it. Crying is better than laughing. It blotches out the face but it scours the heart. Sages invest themselves in hurt and grieving. Fools waste
    their lives in fun and games.” (The Message).

    CC

  2. Jean Okas

    Good reading and something we all need to think about. I have of course experienced grief first hand and no doubt I will again. My grief has not only been related to the death of someone close to me, but other life’s situationswhich can be quite devastating until one comes to terms with them and lets go.

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