No, no one close to me has died, but I have been part of a discussion on another blog about mourning, and it got me to thinking (ahhh, very dangerous). I am a firm believer in mourning, not just for the loss of a loved one, but for the loss of other things too, like one's health, one's home, one's lifestyle or anything that we care for.
I know that when I was diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago, I mourned the loss of foods I would never taste again, like homemade whole wheat bread dripping with melted butter or a fresh sugar doughnut from the Scandia Bakery. I certainly went through a period of mourning when we left our home in Washington to move to Montana. (Of course, added to that was the death of my mother, which occured two weeks before the move.) More recently, I have mourned the loss of church affiliation, as I have had to quit attending meetings regularly because of my chemical sensitivities.
So I wonder, what purpose does mourning serve? Does it really help to go to the depth of our emotions? Can we go TOO deep, so that we can't ever truly climb out again? When we go through a period of mourning, how do we regain some balance in our lives?
I'm not sure I have all the answers. I do know that loss and a subsequent period of mourning changes me. If and when I do come out of it, I am not quite the same. The challenge is to be better because of it, happier or more content at least with the new state of affairs. Because mourning is really about accepting change and then going on with life, albeit a different life than we knew previously. I think I'm pretty good at the mourning part but not so good with the going on with life part, or at least with the going on with life and enjoying it part.