The Gift of Grief

by Candy Lightner, (founder of MADD)

Death takes away. That’s all there is to it.
But grief gives back.
By experiencing it, we are not simply eroded by pain.
Rather, we become more compassionate, more aware,
more able to help others, more able to help ourselves.

Grief is powerful. It plunges us into the depths of sorrow
and forces us to face the finiteness of life, the mightiness of death, and the meaning of our existence here on this earth.

It does more than enable us to change: it demands it.
The way we change is up to us.
It is possible to be forever bowed by grief.
It is possible to be so afraid of one aspect of it that we become frozen in place, stuck in sorrow, riveted in resentment or remorse, unable to move on.

But it is also possible to be enlarged, to find new direction,
and to allow the memory of the beloved person who has died to
live on within us... not as a monument to misery,
but as a source of strength, love and inspiration.

By acting on our grief, we can eventually find within ourselves
a place of peace and purposefulness.
It is my belief that all grievers, no matter how intense their pain,
no matter how rough the terrain across which they must travel,
can eventually find that place within their hearts.