I greatly appreciated Marc Kovac's column published on May 28 regarding "Happy Memorial Day."
In a society that is obsessed with pleasure, this was a refreshing reminder of the missing balance. Grieving is a natural, necessary part of life. Everyone is affected by loss. Grief always finds an outlet, and those who cannot process losses in a healthy way will find that grief's outlets are less than desirable.
As a trained Grief Recovery Specialist through the Grief Recovery Institute (www.griefrecoverymethod.com), I regularly hear well-intentioned "myths" perpetuated. Myths such as "Be strong. Don't cry. Remember the good times, Time heals all wounds, etc." These are not helpful for several reasons; however, the main issue is that these myths serve the injustice of minimizing the loss. In regards to Memorial Day, there is no acceptable excuse to minimize the amazing sacrifice felt by those who have lost a loved one in the service of our country. While we are grateful to celebrate the freedoms that those sacrifices have enabled, I agree with Mr. Kovac that the celebrations should be ascribed to the appropriate holidays. Our culture pressures us to "celebrate" that which should be mourned. The sad truth is that a "celebration of life service" or a parade with candy is more comfortable -- and thereby less threatening -- than sitting and mourning with those who are impacted by loss.
We are so obsessed with avoiding discomfort to the detriment of healing. Masking our heartache with a smile and a platitude hinders our recovery from loss. Teaching future generations to appropriately honor the fallen will allow credence that sacrifice -- although outside of the realm of comfort and pleasure -- is a healthier path to true appreciation of freedom.