When someone we love dies, we experience a loss – a true loss. Many of us talk about preserving and honoring the memory of someone we love who dies. We talk about a peaceful death or transition. Death is not always that peaceful transition maybe we all hope it might be. I for one do not want to die a painful death. Sounds just very unpleasant. Well, death is unpleasant. Even if the death is long expected or an end to a long painful battle, death is not usually something we look forward to. In death, we find a loss – a deep true loss. Even for those who believe in an afterlife, death brings a finality that cannot be fixed. Death causes a break in a relationship, and a break that cannot be mended but must be lived through. I think many of us focus on remembering and honoring the lives of our loved ones and urge others to do so because the loss that death brings is so painful. We do not like being reminded of the pain in ourselves, let alone in someone else. At the death of a loved one we face a tragedy we can never truly prepare for nor truly completely recover from. Death brings a certain finality that we each need to grapple with. Each grieving process may look different because each person has had a different relationship with the one who has died. We must recognize that at death a tragedy on some level has occurred. Things will not be the same, because they can never be the same. We do ourselves and those we serve a disservice to not acknowledge the tragedy of death. It takes a certain bravery to look at pain in others and ourselves. I think if we are to aid those in facing death and grief, we must accept this truth that with death comes tragedy. When we see those deep in grief, stop and remember that the pain of loss may run deep. Give others time to figure out a way to live life without the person they love. The process may take time, but it is a process that may never see a resolution.