Death can be a frightening, lonely, and painful experience. I see death every day of the week. In fact, I have seen death every single day of the past decade.
In witnessing this plethora of death, I have gained a unique perspective on the ultimate pain of loss, as well as the struggles through its ensuing grief. Of late, I have found the number of proportionate deaths within the generations younger than my own, soaring. These deaths seem directly related to lifestyles that have negatively affected physical and/or mental health. It seems that a good number of prime-aged adults either do not realize or do not care, about consequences related to actions and choices: even when that consequence is death.
I find that persons devoid of consequential beliefs often act irresponsibly toward themselves and others. They seem oblivious to the pain they impose upon those who love them and disrespectful toward a higher being. Upon their death, those who share their inconsequential belief system suffer the demons of loss and grief through inconsolable hopelessness. It seems that more times than not, their solutions are based on wrangling their pain, as they do their responsibilities, into suppression. This myth of recovery is not one of healing; it is one of self-deception and may impose confusion, derangement, paranoia, and neurosis into the life of the survivor.
In all fairness, I see these same behaviors in older generations. It is a reality, however; that I see the consequences of death in greater numbers among prime-aged adults. It pains and worries me that so many of them self-inflict their deaths due to selfish acts of abuse upon themselves. Additionally, it frightens me beyond comprehension, as I have children and grandchildren within this demographic. As their mother and grandmother, I see the impact of the inconsequential lifestyle infiltrating their tolerance and becoming acceptable to them. Before long, I fear that they may succumb to the same end as those I see lying on my embalming table.
What then is the answer to this life-threatening lifestyle of inconsequential behavior? When my grandmother was a young child, she was deprived of life’s comforts due to extreme poverty. As a young woman, she suffered through the great depression. As a married woman and mother, my grandmother suffered the fall-out of marriage to an alcoholic. These experiences, although loathsome, made her strong both physically and psychologically. In today’s world, my grandmother would be enslaved through governmental programs. She would be heavily medicated, bombarded with assistance dollars that she did not earn, diagnosed with all sorts of syndromes and indulgences that would be the fault of others rather than herself, and living in some sort of project housing. In short, her self-respect and dignity would be robbed from her by programs designed to enslave her to a life of dependence rather than encourage self-reliance and dignity. In her time, she merely handled her responsibilities.
My grandmother loved me and bore life’s burdens for me before I was ever born. Her sufferings made her selfless and filled her soul with love and gratitude. She was self-reliant and did not waste time with feeling sorry for her self. Her life was very different and much more painful than my own.
Perhaps therein lies the mystery. My children and grandchildren live far away from their parents and grandparents. Although they have suffered disappointments in life, neither they nor I, have suffered the trials of production based survival. Furthermore, should we behave irresponsibly; we need not even suffer our deserved shame among our peers. Our survival is not based on merit or accomplishment; it is based on dysfunction and frailty. The poorer our performance, the greater our undeserving reward. Undeserving programs isolate human beings from each other by robbing us of our need to rely upon each other, as well as the dignity found through self-reliance, self-achievement, self-improvement, and accomplishment.
I see young people all around me suffering unparalleled sadness, isolation, mental illness, and premature death. I have lamented over what to do to affect positively, and save the needless loss of life in the generations that follow my own. It occurs to me that perhaps speaking the truth to make them strong, rather than giving handouts, which make them weak, might save them.
It is time that we irradiate this growing epidemic of self-inflicted, premature death among the prime aged and younger adults within our society. To accomplish this we must do what we have failed to do – allow them to experience the consequences of childhood failures. Failing builds strength and character. It promotes better choices and greater responsibility. In short, the experience of failure produces a future of success.
I want to see the success of lives lived to old age, not prime age.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Managing Funeral Director (FDIC) and owner of Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City, Texas, professional artist, co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp, author, and syndicated columnist. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate survivors toward positive recovery.
It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.
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