Feature by Harriet Robbins

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 enjoy in our lifetime?

What comes to mind are the recent headlines dealing with the South Koreans who were abducted many years ago by North Korea. Some are still living with families in the north, others died while in custody. This news was shocking enough but what about the grief felt by the families in the south? How can they deal with the news that they will never see their loved ones again?

With this motif of grief I began to think of how one accepts the loss of loved ones. With this in mind I recalled a film I saw recently, MOONLIGHT MILE, with an excellent cast: Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman and Jake Gyllenhaal, written and directed by Brad Silberling. This Buena Vista Pictures release explored the various ways a family tries to deal with the devastating impact of a murdered child. Although not politically inspired the film projected the personal attitudes of individuals embroiled in a traumatic experience.

The HBO series SIX FEET UNDER also deals successfully with this theme. Each episode goes into the often-violent demise of a character and dramatizes the aftermath of the event. The viewer witnesses the impact of grief on those who mourn or scorn the deceased. The human condition is revealed with clarity and purpose.

Many books, plays and films have been written about the subject, but the experience of dealing with grief is always one's own. I have dealt with it and so have many of you. How has it affected you? Hopefully you have survived by accepting this terrible event and not letting it stop you in your tracks.

With time and experience it is possible to conclude that this too shall pass, leaving you with the realization that you have survived one of the horrible blows of life and can go forward with renewed efforts to live fully to the best of your ability.