Pain Doesn't Last Forever

"...Yet pain is part of being alive, and we need to learn that.  Pain does not last forever, nor is it necessarily unbearable, and we need to be taught that. 

Adolescents need to accept the fact that broken hearts, like broken bones, hurt dreadfully but ultimately they heal, and that there is life beyond the hurting.  People whose shameful secret is about to be revealed need to be assured that there is forgiveness as well as condemnation, that there are people in the world and a God in the world capable of forgiving and loving even the most flawed and imperfect of us.  The terminally ill need to be reassured that we will cherish them and spend time with them and take them as seriously as we did when they were healthy. 

Most of all, we have to learn to trust our own capacities to endure pain.   We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that.  All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain.  Grit your teeth and let it hurt.  Don't deny it, don't be overwhelmed by it.  It will not last forever,   One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there."  

~Harold S. Kushner


Losing a Parent, Losing An Identity

Mourning is prolonged when guilt is involved.
 Some adults are inconsolable at the death of their elderly parents because 
they recognize that their childhood has also died. 

 ...There is no grief which time does not lessen and soften.
From "Love, Hate, Fear, Anger" by June Callwood


Forgiving Our Families

A woman asked me for help in placing her father in a nursing home. He was 89 years old and had never been sick a day in his life; had worked construction until he was 81.

One day he had a massive stroke that rendered him incapable of caring for himself. It also made him incapable of controlling his emotions and he was crying most of the time.

The day we got him settled into his nursing home room; him with his huge hands and furrowed brow! The smiling courteous polite daughter asked me to step outside of his room. When we did she sputtered, with tears in her own eyes: "That SON OF A BITCH! He was a miserable ___ ___ bastard all of his life and now he's vulnerable. How DARE HE?! NOW he needs us to be kind to him?? It's just not fair."

This was her lesson in forgiveness. And actually.... the story turned out quite nicely. Forgiveness works. We are given opportunities to learn its power.

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