I am writing in response to a recent letter that recalls loss with death of parents, appearing in the Sept. 1 Bellingham Herald. He states that 5 percent to 10 percent of adult children respond with significant and unexpected reactions to the death of a parent. I challenge that figure to be close to 100 percent. I realize that not all those who face loss of a parent immediately act out on others, however, responses to loss appear in another form, mainly by refusing to accept the difficult challenge of healing from loss. There are many unresolved issues such as, “Things I said that I shouldn’t have said” to “things I should have said and didn’t.” Buried pain results in breaking through in myriad destructive behaviors not only to self but to others, all far removed from the death bed. There then appears a special need for forgiveness of self and others. The path is seldom clear as the struggle for clarity begins to show a healing wound. C.S. Lewis has said, “Grief and pain are the price we humans have to pay for the love and total commitment we have for another person. The more we love, the more we are hurt when we lose the object of our love. But if we are honest with ourselves, would we have it any other way?”
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