the Basica

  It is right to grieve. When any who have lived pass away, they all deserve to be mourned somehow by someone. To cry for someone is to honor that person, though weeping is not the only way. Fond memories do just as much honor, if not more. So, shed tears as often and as long as they come. But shed them remembering joy as much as you can, and laugh and reminisce when you are able. All of us have bodies that fail. But we are each so much more than we would otherwise be because of those with whom we share our earthly travels. That someone dear has lived is, in the end, far more important than that such a beloved has died.

  Do not worry for the souls of those who have departed. This is out of our hands and deserves our trust. But give thanks for the gift of their being and for the chance of having known them. To ask that they be blessed is also to honor them, though we cannot know their destination. It is always right to say again that they were loved.

  Accept condolences gracefully. When they seem too numerous to manage or the weight of even one more word of sympathy seems too heavy to hold, store up their thoughtful kindness within you and remember later, when you can bear it, how much you are cared for. You need only say, "Thank you," to let those who love you know they have been heard.

  Do not press grief on anyone. You are no judge of how others should feel. But bear in mind that some feel their sorrow inwardly or wait to express it until they have the sense that they can afford to give it their full attention without interruption. Some may also need to know that feeling and letting out their grief is all right before they can open the gates. And some have been mourning since well before death has come, knowing its inevitable arrival would bring an end to long, hard struggle and pain or feeling loss of the person came far in advance of death of the body. Others are simply not ready to be able to mourn, and no amount of prodding can make them be so, however much time has passed.

  Let those who grieve know of your sympathy. Even when death is long in its approach and filled with suffering, such an expression is a support and a kindness. Those not ready to hear it when it is spoken will stow it away in their hearts and remember later that it was given. Be sensitive, though, to how quickly condolence fatigue can set in, and let your comments be as appropriate as possible in length and content to the frame of mind of the one you wish to console. It is not wrong to be brief, to listen, to sit together in silence, or to leave the grieving to their privacy.

  It should be no surprise whenever grieving thought finished returns yet again. Do not shy away from this, but instead let it have its due. Still, let glad memories prevail over the sorrow of loss. And live your life. This is the gift you wished to continue for someone you can no longer reach. Let your eyes see the great sights. Let your ears hear the beautiful sounds. Let your hands touch the grand workings of this earthly life. Though your loved one, and with that person a part of who you are, may feel cut off, do the one so dear the honor of living fully, joyfully, lovingly. It is not so much moving on, as though the dead were left behind, as continuing to move forward, as all the living must in order to thrive. By doing so, we make of ourselves the living monuments to those who have touched our hearts and made them rich.

  In loving memory
of those I
- and all of us -
have lost.

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