We deal with death in different ways, good or bad, right or wrong. Some people go into a depression while others go further and commit suicide because they can not deal with the pain. Others drink excessively to block out the pain. One way I deal with the sting of death is to remember the good times I had with a loved one. Of course, I may remember the disagreements I had with the departed loved one but I rejoice in the fact that we overcame them.
Christians are comforted by the fact that they will see their loved ones in heaven. I believe that other religions/denominations find comfort in other ways.
I was perplexed at how one colleague’s wife dealt with the loss of one of their children. What I had known all along was that my colleague, Tom, and his wife had two children – a girl and a boy. However, when I was talking to Tom’s 12 year old son he mentioned that his brother liked eating a lot and cried too much. The boy was hurt when I told him that I thought he only had one sibling. He said “of course, I have an older brother!”
I kept quiet and later mentioned to Tom that I didn’t know that he had another child apart from the two I knew. When Tom looked surprised and said he only had two, I mentioned my conversation with his son. Tom then explained that he had lost a baby boy years before he had his second son was born. He said his wife coped with the loss by speaking about their late son in the present tense. His surviving son therefore, picked up that ‘habit’ as well.
I found the whole situation sad. I can not say whether the way Tom’s wife is dealing with their loss is right or wrong, but it definitely was strange for me. Like I said, we deal with our losses differently.