As a member of the Babyboom generation, I’m witnessing the lurking mortality of a parent. Several friends of my generation are also dealing with the evitable. Within the past five years, I’ve had three friends to plummet into prolonged grief, bordering on the brink of depression, after the death of a parent or parental figure.
Now I don’t dare tell anyone how to grieve their loss; however, I think we seniors should consider the grief of our children upon the inevitability of our pending demise perhaps a decade or two from now. It occurred to me that a prewritten letter or video of consolation, cheer, and/or affirmation might ease the grieving process, circumvent depression, and give much needed peace to the survivors, namely our children. This letter/video would not come with the instruction to ‘Open or view after my death,” but shall be read/viewed upon receipt and filed away for posterity.
For many, the death of a parent is difficult to deal with. However, we who proclaim to be Christians very easily deal with the death of Jesus Christ by carrying Jesus inside of us. During most of our church assemblies, we hear about Jesus’ great love for us and his horrible suffering as he was put to death. As much as I hear people profess their love for Christ, I’ve never seen anyone in depression over his death. Most Christians deal with the tragedy by embracing the belief that Jesus lives, he lives inside of the believers. Isn’t this what mind over matter is all about? People should learn to utilize their Bible and biblical training beyond the shouting and emotionalism.
Each person suffering a loss, after a reasonable grieving period, should dig deeper and excavate the buried wisdom of God in time of need. However, most are unprepared to do this, which is likely to include our children. For this reason, I think we can minimize our children’s grief through advising them to lovingly carry our memory inside of them, which would eternally keep us alive. It would not be farfetched, if they feel so inclined; to celebrate our birthday the way the nation does dead presidents and civil rights leaders.
Grief counseling is a form of psychotherapy that aims to help people cope with grief and mourning following the death of loved ones, or with major life changes that trigger feelings of grief. Grief counselors feel that everyone experiences and expresses grief in their own way, often shaped by culture. They believe that it is not uncommon for a person to withdraw from their friends and family and feel helpless; some might be angry and want to take action. Some may laugh. Grief counselors believe that grief is a process the goal of which is "resolution." In other words, grief is healthy but prolonged grief is not. In the Bible, God gave the Israelites 30 days to mourn the death of Moses, then He spoke to Joshua saying, “Moses my servant is death; now therefore rise…” In other words, stop grieving and get busy with your life.
My idea of a letter or video is not unique in the least. A few people record Living Wills by video and most do it by written testaments. I feel if more people, during a time of reasonable health and vitality, record a positive message to their loved ones much of this depression and extreme grief can be circumvented and a bundle in psychotherapy could be saved and maybe spent on our grandchildren.
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