They teach endless categories of academia in secular school.
Reading, writing, arithmetic, science, social studies, world history and foreign language. Perhaps there was some gym and a bit of arts thrown in if you were lucky enough to get your education before they cut funding for these programs.
This is augmented by what we learn in religious school if you were blessed enough to be forced by your parents to attend Sunday school, Hebrew school, confirmation classes or the like. (Funny, how that felt like torture back then.)
But, nowhere in my schooling did I learn how to deal with death.
Sure, the physical explanation of death is almost innate knowledge, but the ramifications for those that live on, the responsibilities that follow and the spiritual implications are not "taught" in formal education programs.
Mourning and the subsequent process when you lose someone is not on any curriculum.
Death has to be experienced in order to acquire the aptitude for coping with it.
I lost my grandparents early in my life. I remember being sad, but not ever going through any real stages of grief. I had seen other family members lose people they loved, but it didn't trigger a "mourning process" within my own life.
Then, my younger brother, Jesse Bern, passed away one year ago on Sept. 20, 2010.
No one prepared me for what I was about to go through and still am. Why wasn't there a class in school on what to do, what to expect and how to deal?
But, what was and is interesting, amazing and so incredible are the people around me who have lost a loved one, who have ushered me through this process with their beautiful wisdom, understanding and support.
It seems that grief is not only an emotion, but also a process and skill that has to be learned. I am so grateful to my "teachers" who have regrettably experienced loss themselves, but are generous enough to convey the normalcy of what I am going through and share the stages of the grieving process with me.
Now, when I hear someone has passed away, I find myself relating on a level I never imagined I would.
To remember Jesse, my husband and I wrote a song last year. My deepest thanks to Chuck Garric, Damon Johnson, Chris Latham and Todd Burman for making it come to life and to all of my "teachers" over the last year who have held my hand, put their arms around me and helped lead me "to the light."
Please click the link to listen. (To download for free, just enter your email, zip code and $0.00)
Thank you for sharing your story about your brother's passing and your feelings. I have an older brother and I can't imagine life without him. I lost my mother to cancer in 2001, and there isn't a day that goes by without her in my thoughts. You have my deepest sympathies.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Nothing ever "gets better" with time, almost the opposite, but the pain does become more normal to deal with so in a sense it does get "easier" but it never goes away. Jesse was a mutual friend of sorts in that we had many of the same friends and would see each other at social functions during college and shortly after. Truly a very smart guy and incredibly kind with an infectious smile and humor. Still shocking that he is gone. Kudos to you for going public with your feelings, hopefully it is cathartic in a sense for your grieving process.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Lindsay Garric
Published March 16, 2014
Nothing compares to the health and satisfaction of a home cooked meal prepared with wisely chosen ingredients. Does it take some planning? Yes. Does it take some organized shopping? Yes. Does it take a lot of time? Nope.
Published March 5, 2014
Brett Favre, I've got one word for your spring 2014 look - dayuuuuuuuuuum!
Published Feb. 13, 2014
The Raw I am about to discuss has nothing to do with Monday nights, carpaccio or Eddie Murphy. The "Raw" I am referring to indicates a dietary lifestyle choice gaining popularity from its reported health benefits, celebrity endorsers and more recent mainstream availability.
Published Feb. 6, 2014
I really hate heroin. I do. There is no other way to say it. And the vendetta is personal.
Published Jan. 23, 2014
Patrick Reilly has been "around" in Milwaukee. He was a staple on the East Side bar scene for years, helming and indulging in the wildest party spots on hot blocks like North Avenue. And then, he decided to get sober.
Published Jan. 16, 2014
Fashion fans and insiders, makeup artists and enthusiasts, design professionals and amateur aficionados, along with style experts and trend watchers alike, patiently await the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year so they can gear their purchases and creations to an on-trend color scheme.
Published Dec. 31, 2013
When it comes down to it, isn't the heart of all resolutions really about loving ourselves more?
Published Dec. 20, 2013
Life without chocolate? Not sure that is a scenario Lindsay Garric's willing to negotiate. And now, Mayana Chocolate is local to Spooner. Situated in the upper northwest corner of Wisconsin, almost five hours from Milwaukee, a road trip may be in order.
Published Dec. 5, 2013
As if it weren't enough that retailers went into Christmas mode while most of us were still trick or treating, I was also still really reeling from the notion that Thanksgiving Eve has now been christened "Brown Thursday." And then there's Cyber Monday. And don't forget #GivingTuesday ...
Published Nov. 20, 2013
My hair-brained mind cannot help but wonder if any chicks literally embracing Movember? Are there any women growing out their mustaches (gasp!) all November long?