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Saturday, January 31, 2009

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Coping With Loss, Grief, and the Fear Of Your Own Mortality

Coping With Loss, Grief, and the Fear Of Your Own Mortality
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I first became aware that death - for anyone - is never far away when a sixth grade playground chum committed suicide. I had been aware that old people died - but "old" had seemed very remote to my twelve year old self. Instantly death became very real - something that could, and did, happen to anyone.

Having reached my sixties, death is becoming a more and more familiar companion - it is no longer something that happens to grandparents or parents - it is now something that often happens to peers. A surprising number of my friends have also lost children to various calamities.

How to cope with loss and grief... How to cope with the fear of our own mortality...

Here are the pillars that support me as I confront the specter of death. For me, these affirmations proclaim the joy and purpose of life. May they also serve you well.

1. Life is what I make of it. Whether I have hours or decades remaining, I can choose to focus on living a happy and compassionate life - unencumbered by fears of future dangers, including death.

2. Once someone has "passed on," they are no longer suffering. Whether or not I believe that they are now "in a better place," I can be sure that they are no longer suffering. While, I certainly feel compassion for the grief and loss of the departed one's family and friends, my sympathy is for the living, not the dead.

3. Whenever I die, my life will be complete and a finished work. If I believe that the purpose of my life is preordained by a higher power, it is logical to believe that my life is also preordained to fulfill that purpose - however much time I am on this earth. However, if I believe that I have free-will, the only demand upon my earthly time is that I do my best - whatever the result.

4. I choose to overcome my instinctive fear of the unknown. All humans naturally fear the unknown. I will fight that fear every day - and I will win. In winning my battle with fear, I win my freedom and my happiness.

5. I am one with Spirit - Spirit is my strength. Whatever the details of my beliefs, and however I choose to commune with my Higher Power, it is my rock and my Pillar of Life.


Anonymous said...

My son died on Qctober 4, 2006. I had no idea how much I loved him until I lost him. Joining the SAIL "family" has been part of my almost obsessive search for peace in knowing that he is still alive somewhere. Even though my intellect tells me that all is well with him, my heart still breaks for missing him. Tomorrow is his 30th birthday. Happy Birthday, Danny. Mamma misses you.

Anonymous said...

We have all come from our Source. When someone dies, he goes back to where he came from. While on earth we only experience a small portion of our power. Your son, I believe, has gone back into the full force of his power. He is back at home with our Source.
The feeling that he gave you while on earth was one of love, compassion as well as nurturing and security. With his absence, you are feeling the loss of these qualities. They are still there. He isn't, but just know that he is even more with you each day than he was when he was in human form. Even though you cannot see him and you cannot feel his touch....just know he is there with you. You can have an even more profound relationship with him now than you did before.
We will all eventually return to our Source and our full power. He did it through dying. You can do the same while still alive. Your choice.

Anonymous said...

Suppose it is true after-all....Jesus-Heaven-the the way- what then? you are gambling with the soul and after death....there is not turning back for a do-over. There is much proof that the Bible is truth- is so- so is Jesus Christ and the cross. And it says 'Whosoever was not found writtne in the bok of life was cast into the lake of fire.' Rev. 20:15 This is not scary for the Christian, b/c we know our promise and hope in Christ.. But for those who wish to gamble with their soul.. What then?
'It is appointed unto men once to die, but after judgment' Hebrews 9:27 Do you have that wonderful assurance of heaven through Christ? Just some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

In response to living one's life as a Christian just in case...I do wish people would realize that just because they have found an answer in a particular religion, their self-assuredness is not necessarily the truth for others. There are many books filled with wisdom and truth that people worship throughout the world and others who find spiritual peace in nature, in serving others, in numerous other religions, and in other ways that work for them. We were made differently and live different experiences. I am very sorry for this mother's loss. I don't feel preaching Christianity and what might happen should one not choose it to be their spiritual answer is what she was looking for.

Anonymous said...

so totally totally agree with anonymous 'July 21, s2009 10:23pm comment. took the words right out of my mouth

Anonymous said...

Being a Believer of Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that God is Love and the Bible says that
in the end we will all be judged and every knee
shall bow beore our Lord and know the Truth, the
whole Truth. In the meantime, we are to love one
another and that means to have compassion on one
another. I am also sorry for the Loss of this
mothers son, I could not imagine loosing one of
my sons, for the Love of a mother for her children was given to mothers by God and is one
of the most precious Love's there is. God bless
you, and may God use you to shower the Love you
cannot give to your son right now, to someone who needs some Love. From Mother to Mother

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous July 21/09 l0:23 pm.
Being a Christian and having a Relationship with
Jesus doesn't give one the right to preach Religion to people. Reading Matthew 23 confirms this to us. Jesus hated Religion and I suggest
we let God be God and allow Holy Spirit to draw
His Creation ( people )to Him. Our Job is to
love people and its the Fruit of our Life's that will draw them to God. Preaching at them will only deter them from having anything to do
with God. Praying for the mother who lost her son would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

For the mama...You may find peace in a book called, The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It has helped me to find peace immensely.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie said...

Here's a link to The Shack

Anonymous said...

I lost my mother on 11/15/10 and my only sister on 05/01/2011. I am the baby and this entire situation has caused me to struggle with my own mortality while trying to grieve the two closest people in my life. I know that I am only here today and typing this by the grace of GOD. I have heard of the book 'the shack'. I plan on reading it as soon as I can do so without breaking down, im probably going to have to just read it anyway. I keep reading positive things about this community. Im hoping that I can help those who are here through prayer and in anyway I can do so. With the exception of my teenage son, I am completely alone now...handling life affairs the best I can. Thank You Jonathan for all of the inspirational emails I get daily. Much appreciated.

Cathy said...

This is for my grandma. Thank you for sharing loving sympathy quotes.

Jonathan L. Huie said...

See sympathy/comfort quotes at

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts on religion. Note there are currently thousands of variations and interpretations of religion, yet Jesus founded only one Church, which has not changed since the beginning. Trace the roots back to the beginning, before others revolted.
I have friends of many faiths, but I choose to stay with the Faith that has been there from the very start, which is why I am a Catholic. Not always easy to be one, but very VERY thankful that I am.

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy everyones perspective and it is,"By the Grace of God,"Jonathan Huies site! He has to be the most awesome person to help millions and ask for nothing in return!

Anonymous said...

lost my cousin 11/06/2012...was the hardest thing i had to go through at least that's what i thought 2 years later 2014 i lost my Granddad and there and then death became so real to me. my cousin was my best friend and i honestly didn't believe that i would have survive it, he was just so young and i believe he had not yet lived. only 18 years and was robbed of a future, even though in church i still struggle deeply to overcome these incidents. so reading these stories it gives me hope to know that i am not alone and if you guys can make it through i can and i will too....keep the inspirations.

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