"While 2012 has been a very happy and memorable one for me, I am only too painfully aware of all of the hurt, unhappiness and worry which has been felt by family and friends of mine who have experienced the bereavement of a loved one or who have been forewarned of such an experience during 2013 because of terminal illness. Despite my own happiness during the year, this pain of others has not escaped me nor dulled my sensibilities. Many years of past work with the bereaved and the dying since the age of 17 years have taught me that there is little point in having family and friends in one's life if we do not use their love and concern at moments of great need. Because of my experience in bereavement counselling and because I founded 'Anger Management' courses in Great Britain in 1972, the National Lottery kindly funded the production of my musical play, 'Douglas the Dragon' in 2006. I have taken the speech by one of the cast in that play and slightly modified it for the benefit of all those who are currently experiencing the emotional trauma caused by terminal illness or a recent bereavement. Please read on if you think it may be of help to you:
“Our hearts are heavy with grief for our dead; our feelings of loss veil our pain. Even our mental images of their tragic deaths mangle our minds and press our thoughts of confusion into feelings of uncertainty for the future. Our skies seem filled with the harbinger of doom and gloom, but believe me when I tell you that the sun will shine through again!
I have walked this earth for 70 years, and yet, despite the extent of my age and any worldly wisdom I have collected along the way, I know so little about what lies beneath this green sod that makes the ground shake so violently when earthquakes shake in rage and tsunamis wash our shores. My simple mind cannot comprehend the reason why one man dies old and another so young; why one woman can mother many babies and another not be able to house one in her womb.
But this I know with every breath of my being and tell you most truly. I know that sadness suffered in silence grows ever so bitter and sours the soul of humanity. I know that grief denied is grief extended and that bereavement borne alone is a cross far too heavy for anyone to bear.
I urge you, one and all, do not hide away your grief from family and friends during times of great sadness. Share your fears and sadness with them, for a burden shared is a weight lessened! Let it out. Let them see it. Let others help you to carry your loss!
Do not conceal your pain behind false pride, good people. There is no shame in crying, no comfort to be found in silent rage, and no point in trying to cope alone when others will help you willingly; and be glad to have done so.
This is a time for you to share with friends and family; a time for all to rally round and to offer what we give best. This is not a time to isolate oneself from the lives of others, but a time to take part in all around you: the wisest time of all to express your feelings to those you love and trust!
Do all of this, my dear friends, and I promise you that the light will shine through your darkest day. Follow the substance of your future. Do not dwell upon the shadow of your past. Put your past behind you and I tell you, that a brighter ‘morrow shall follow.
However sad you feel today, I promise, that in time, your feelings shall change for the better. Remember, the birds shall still sing, the sun shall still shine, the grass will still grow, the flowers shall still bloom and the wind will still blow.
Consider this. Even mighty oaks have to bend to the force of nature. And then, even when they are battered and blown by the Earth’s storms; even then, experience encourages the trunk to grow ever stronger and its roots to spread ever wider. Are we no less?
So give heed to the ramblings of an old man. Do as I advise, and peace and reconciliation shall enter your lives once more. This I promise you. This I know!” https://www.smashwords.com/library
William Forde: January 3rd, 2013.