(“The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray; above: grave of Robert Frost in Bennington, Vermont) which I visited in the early ’90s)
-Death is often a release from pain, suffering, and isolation that brings peace to the deceased. Caregivers and those negatively affected by those three things are likewise released in various ways.
-Pain, suffering, and long health decline do change, distort, and twist the dying person into weak, poor, unfortunate, negative facsimiles of themselves. It is supremely important to remember the deceased as he or she was in better, happier times and manifestions.
-In many ways, context is the key definer of the persons we eventually become. If we are the victims of abuse or neglect, for instance, or have a negative parent, these will leave their marks on our lives, for better or worse. Our response is usually to imitate or reject (often by 360 degrees) the parental role models we grew up with. Whatever our specific childhood contexts were will affect our coming of age, adulthood, values and choices.
-Attitude remains the central defining characteristic of one’s personality–how one responds to situations, changes, crises, and others. We choose the attitudes we have or express except in the case of extreme pain and suffering when we are no longer our best selves.
-Understanding and forgiveness of whatever nastiness of or from someone else is always possible in the cases of learning of people’s abused circumstances or backgrounds, or in cases of extreme pain, suffering, or terminal cancer when the person is no longer him- or herself.
-Death is just a natural part of living process and life goes on within and without one. Life continues; change dictates that always. It is important to reconnect with life, self, and others afterward and to perspective both life and death.
-Happy memories and moments of being are well worth revisiting and remembering in sensory detail. These are the best and often happiest moments of one’s life and relationships.