"It is the peculiar nature of the world to continue turning whatever tragedy befalls an individual. While you grieve the loss of someone you loved, all manner of joy will become an emotional stranger and your focus will be only upon the deep hurt you feel. If you are a person who believes in God, you will come to know that there is no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. Whether or not you believe in a supreme being to intervene, rest assured that time itself will prove one of the greatest healers. The process of any bereavement is unfortunately a necessary stage to negotiate before full health and happiness can return. Grieving cannot be avoided or shortened; its full course must be run. It helps more than is possibly imaginable, if you are able to talk about your sorrow and allow others share your pain. The sad truth is that sorrow knows no tomorrow and until it is healthily dispelled from the grieving body (put to one side but not forgotten), every day will be a day of painful memory.
Many years ago, the National Lottery paid for me to write and produce a musical play based upon my most popularly acclaimed children's characters, 'Douglas the Dragon.' In this play, half of the village population is killed and their homes and crops destroyed by an angry volcano which erupts. For months after the tragedy, the surviving villages walk round immobilised by grief and loss. It is the wisest villager, Granny McNally who is asked to address them. I include her speech which was written by me to help children understand the process of bereavement better. The full musical play can be freely downloaded from my website
GRANNY McNALLY: (Slow, solemn and assertive delivery) “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 (determined voice) the sun will shine through again!”
“I’ve walked this earth for 90 years. I’ve seen all of you born and have witnessed more deaths than I care to remember. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I’ve forgotten more than most of you have yet learned.”
“And yet, despite the extent of my age and worldly wisdom, I know so little about what lies beneath this green sod that makes the ground shake so violently when ‘The Angry Hill’ explodes in rage.”
“But this I know with every breath of my being and tell you most truly (more determined voice). I know that sadness suffered in silence grows ever more 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 to bear.”
“I urge you, one and all, do not hide away your grief from family and friends. 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, good people. 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 woman. Do as I advise, and peace and reconciliation shall enter your lives once more. This I promise you. This I know!”
I include one the original songs of the play which encourages children to 'Let out their anger. and 'Let in their love.' I am proud to say that some places of safety for abused women and some 'anger management' groups for male abusers made this song part of their meetings." William Forde: September 21st, 2015.