One of my favourite magazines, Easy Living -- a British publication -- features a wonderfully moving essay in its September issue.
Written by Bella Pollen, 'Coping With Grief' focuses on the different ways bereavement is dealt with in our society. She writes that in the early 1900s, deaths of loved ones were part of everyday life. It was normal for people to die at home, and those left behind to sport black clothing for a period of time. People discussed death. People didn't avoid friends in the throes of grief - they mourned together. Death wasn't feared. Unfortunately, the situation clearly changed only a few decades later. In the 1960s, sex, the previous taboo subject, was replaced by death and in many respects, passing away still remains an off-limits topic even today.
Pollen recalls how her own mother back in the early '70s was not allowed to fully grieve the death of her sister -- and by not dealing with her mourning, her mother in essence shut down. Certain emotions became absent, and the pain she carried lasted a lifetime. If only people were free to grieve without perimeters, without someone uttering a common phrase, 'it's time to get on with your life', we'd all be better for it.
Anyone who would spout something so cruel, so heartless has clearly never lost someone so precious and dear. Grief is not something easily to "get over" or "move on" from. Grief sticks.
I cannot read Bella Pollen's article without tears being summoned - even after multiple reads - but it's a beautifully written piece, that deserves to be read.