Due to a family tragedy I haven't written or contributed to my blog for several months. I've always looked at grief simply as a bystander and when it came knocking at my door I realized how difficult it can be to deal with.

As we all age, we see, and expect, our parents and extended family to pass away before us. Humans seem to be the only creature on the planet who are aware of our own mortality. Animals happily live day to day totally unaware of their own temporary existence. There is no one size fits all in dealing with the loss of a loved one. I don't think God used a cookie cutter when he created us mortals, and we all have to find our own solution and coping skills. Time may heal all physical wounds, but spiritual and emotional grief seems to be exempt from the 'things will get better with time' scenario. Memories may fade with time but just like the Duracell Bunny, grief goes on forever. So why do we grieve and what's the solution? That's an easy answer, there is none, and we grieve for the same reason we love. God, or whoever created us, gave us multiple emotions such as joy, passion, humour and love. He/She also gave us the ability to experience emotional pain at the loss of a close loved one.

I never doubted my spiritual convictions after my son left me. Not that I had much to begin with of course. I do believe we do go to a higher place after we pass on. The human soul I believe does survive. I don't have the wisdom of Solomon or the intelligence of Einstein, I just believe life goes on even after we don't. Some of the kindest people I have ever met in my life have been total strangers. From the teary eyed nurse in the hospital who offered to say a prayer, to a neighbor whom I hardly know, came to my door to see if I needed anything. Kindness and help can come from the most unexpected quarters. Reaching out to family and friends have been my lifeline. Weekly support groups are a great comfort. Being around other parents who have suffered a loss is a tremendous help and gives me a weekly outlet to share my experiences and sorrow. Parents or spouses who have suffered a loss belong to a special fraternity that only they can understand.

Someone once said 'Death and Taxes are inevitable' , that's true, particularly if the Republicans win the White House. That's a hard pill to swallow. The death part of course, not the taxes. I don't believe death is the end of our existence and every morning on my short drive to work I say a prayer. I do get the feeling sometimes that I am just talking to myself, but it makes me feel better. As a species, humans are eternally optimistic, which is an admirable trait I suppose.

In Memory of William Alexander Young - 1984 -2011