The world is in turmoil. Daily we are bombarded with news of disaster after disaster. How is one to survive under this continuous assault?

Where is the graciousness, the joy, the love that we all hope to garner in our lifetime?

What comes to mind are the recent headlines telling about the South Koreans who were abducted by North Korea and whose fate has now been revealed, years later. This news was shocking enough but what about the grief felt by the families in the South? How can they deal with the news of their loved ones never to be seen again?

These stories made me think about a film I saw recently, MOONLIGHT MILE, with an excellent cast: Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman and Jake Gyllenhaal, written and directed by Brad Silberling. The recent Buena Vista release examined all the dimensions of a family trying to cope with the death of a murdered daughter. Although not politically inspired, the film investigated the personal reactions of individuals embroiled in a traumatic experience.

The HBO series Six Feet Under also deals successfully with this subject. In each episode the show dramatizes how death affects the living. In each instance you witness the impact of grief on those who mourn--or scorn-- the deceased. The human condition is revealed with clarity and purpose.

Many other movies, plays and books have been written about grief, but we all must deal with the subject in our own way. I have my own ways of coping and no doubt so do many of you. Hopefully you have not been stopped in your tracks by the trauma of grief --and that you have come to realize that this too will pass. What counts is the knowledge that you have survived and that you must go forward with renewed effort to live your life fully to the best of your ability.

With the recent events of 9/11 and the volatile confrontations and suicide bombings worldwide, it seems as if we are being bombarded with horrendous happenings every day--terrorists taking innocent people hostage, snipers picking off complete strangers, plane and car crashes, and so on. One must keep a steady pace in mind and body to survive it all.

The message is: be aware of the joys of life as well. Family, friends, music to tantalize the soul, the wonders of nature. Life can be beautiful and although we mourn our losses we must forge ahead to surround ourselves with whatever happiness is available to us and to all those we cherish.

Love conquers all.