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The Importance of Memorials in the Grieving Process

Aug 17, 2007
"You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one."
- Kahlil Gibran

Death comes knocking on every door, and we have no choice but to mourn silently while life passes away. The possibility of death is always with us. But in our rush to glorify the living, we turn a blind eye towards death. That is why we are so unprepared when death finally finds us - through someone we love, or in the course of our own journey.

One of the most painful things about death is that it is like a door, beyond which we have never seen. No one knows what happens on the other side, or if there is another side even. All we can do is stand on this side of the solemn door and wonder. It is because of this inconclusive nature of Death that most of us find it hard to accept it. If only we could know for certain that our dear ones are taken care of, that there is no pain any more, that there is a return to life, that we shall meet again.

One way to handle grief is to understand it. Another way to cope is to philosophize it. Reading books helps us do both. When we read about other people in grief, we discover that we are not alone and that what we are feeling is nothing new. It somehow helps take the edge out of the pang to know that others have traveled the same road before you. We also begin to see that there is a Grand Plan in life that cannot be defeated or postponed.

Suggested readings:
"I Can't Stop Crying; It's So Hard When Someone You Love Dies" - John D. Martin, Frank D. Ferris, Robert Buckman
Written by professionals dealing with death, loss and grief, this book is an invaluable reference book for those facing a crisis. The book contains practical examples that show the effect of grief on inter-personal relationships. It also explains the process of grieving and makes people understand that they have every right to feel whatever they do - be it anger, sadness or hopelessness. It even tells you how to 'break' the sad news upon other people and help them during those immediate hours of need.

"On Death and Dying" - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
According to one reader, only two groups of people need not read this masterpiece - those that are not mortal, and those that cannot read. For every one else (that's you and me), this book is a must-read. The main aim of the book is to 'sensitize family members of terminally ill patients to the implicit communications of dying patients'. The interviews given in the book are, in the most part, by people who are facing death. After reading this book, you may begin to see that although death is not be a happy subject, it needn't be a dark and menacing mystery any more.

"Safe Passage: Words to Help the Grieving Hold Fast and Let Go" - Molly Fumia.
The words of comfort offered in this book move the reader through the rough and raw emotions of pain, anger, guilt and hopelessness to acceptance and transformation. The book consists of short meditations that help you deal with and understand the various stages of grief. This book has been used by many as a mainstay of their lives when they were going through intense pain and loss.

"You Can Help Someone Who's Grieving" - Victoria Frigo, Diane Fisher and Mary Lou Cook.
Filled with common sense advice on how to help a grieving friend, it addresses the problem of helping a friend through the grieving process. It clearly states why we feel so uncomfortable dealing with grief and comes out with practical suggestions on how to help.
About the Author
Memorial Urns provides products and information to help people move forward after their loss. We carry a wide selection of affordable cremation urns and memorial gifts.
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