A New Understanding of Grief

Posted by Kristin Baird

Grief is a lonely process. As a healthcare provider, I’ve seen grief throughout my career. I’ve been on the side of tragedy and loss where I was the one helping others walk through a crisis and bereavement. I’ve learned the stages of grief from Elizabeth Kubler Ross and have been able to apply those principles in both death and non-death loss. But this week I became acquainted with a type of grief I’ve never known when my 23-year-old granddaughter, Angelina was suddenly and tragically killed in a head on collision on her way to work.

She was a caregiver in every sense, working with the disabled and elderly from the moment she could hold her first job. Last year she became a phlebotomist and planned to start nursing school this fall. I was so thrilled because nursing needs her kind and loving spirit. Healthcare needs more of what she could offer. The potential was lost when she left us.

What I’m learning from this side of grief is that life is too short, but when you live a life of kindness with a truly generous spirit, you’ll touch many lives. That kindness creates a ripple that will keep moving outward even after you are gone. In today’s world, kindness is often in short supply. We lost a huge source of kindness and unconditional love when Angelina left this earth. I ask my readers to honor her memory by consciously doing a single act of kindness for someone – anyone. If we all do at least one thing, maybe we can close part of the hole her absence has created.

Live, so you do not have to look back and say: ’God, how I have wasted my life.’