Are You Having To Deal With The Death Of A Loved One?

Posted at 04:55am on 5th May 2020


I was reminded by my Facebook memories this week that it is now ten years ago since I was invited to speak on an American Radio Station about the death of my daughter. I wept. Because no matter how long ago the event, this is something I shall never get over.

Indeed, in these days of soaring numbers of death due to coronavirus, there will be many of you discovering that truth for yourselves. Coping with the loss of a loved one is probably the most horrific experience we shall ever encounter, for which we have had no prior preparation. It reminds me of a quotation I read long, long ago. 'Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.' It strikes me that this is never more true than when we are dealing with a death in the family.

Whether it's the death of a spouse or the loss of a child, we come to it without rehearsal or training, all eyes upon us. We become the central figure on the stage of life, playing the lead role in a drama for which we have no aptitude and no liking. We have been thrust into this role; forced to play this part. And even while our grief, loss and bereavement wrap themselves, heavily, about us, others look to us to see if they can learn from our experience.

They can't, of course! And in a sense, no amount of tuition could ever teach us the nature of our response to the death of a loved one. For each one of us, it will be a unique performance, never to be repeated. Coping with the loss of a child will be quite different from dealing with the loss of a wife. Though we may each be called upon to experience both, the grief, the depth of loss and bereavement, will be different, one to the other. And your pain will not be my pain. Nor my grief yours.


What can be taught, to some extent, is how those of us who play a supporting role may be better equipped to sustain and nourish, comfort and console those dealing with the loss of a loved one. My novel A Painful Post Mortem, and the Bereavement Poem therein, is still available on Amazon. The book, itself, was inspired by the life and death of my daughter, and my experience in coping with the loss of a child. But what has become clear to me over the years, is the solitude of those trying to come to terms with loss. In hunting out my poem through various internet search engines, each of those visitors to my site has revealed a vulnerability and need with which I can empathise and to which I may respond.


And so, over the course of the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting articles, poems and excerpts on what I have learned. And my hope - my ardent prayer - is that those who are hurting will find help in these pages. And that if you feel able to share - your tears, your wounds, your small triumphs - you will do so, in the knowledge and security that your experience will console others. Because it is in sharing that we each find solace - and an end to our isolation. God bless, till next time.

Coming Soon: Bereavement: Coping With The Initial Shock

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