How To Cope With Absence
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.
From "Seeing Beyond Depression" by Jean Vanier:
"When an activity or a person fills our lives, inspires us or gives us a zest for life, their absence can plunge us into this feeling of total emptiness. We live a kind of inner death. Life no longer flows forth in us. We are filled with a sense of loss and of grief; a heaviness, which resembles depression, permeates our whole being. This pain and this heaviness are not a sickness but a normal, natural reaction to a loss that touches the very meaning of our lives."A person who has suffered this kind of grief needs time to rediscover gradually other reasons to live...
In order to emerge from this state of loss and grief, and begin a new life, people need not so much a therapist as friends who are prepared to walk with them. These friends cannot nor should they try to take away the grief, but rather accept it with them. The grieving process has its own particular rhythm in each person. It needs time. We should not try and make it disappear quickly through artificial ways and distractions. Sometimes people need to cry, scream and shout their pain, anger and frustration in order to free themselves gradually from the pain and find new life."
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