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Life Gets in the Way

26 March 2010 Leave a comment

I hadn’t realised what a heavy psychological burden came with having a blog. Every day I don’t post something weighs heavily. Of course, there are days when I don’t feel I have anything to say, but we had a death in the family lately and I haven’t had much appetite for the concerns of the real world – even the virtual part of it.

There are many ways to experience and appreciate the wisdom of our cultural heritage, but never so deeply as when going through the rites associated with death.

In my cultural tradition, there is a 7-day mourning period that starts immediately after the funeral. It’s basically a week-long open house, with friends and relatives dropping by at all hours – bringing food and comfort. The photo albums come out . . . stories are told. As one of our friends put it, “What did comfort us was to know that people cared about our grief, that ourĀ grief, our loss mattered to them.”
By the end of the week, the ache has dulled and you’re ready to drag yourself back to out into the world.

We’re often so quick to dismiss cultural traditions as being old-fashioned and no longer relevant to our ever-changing, fast-paced lives. And if we’re quick to dismiss our own traditions, we’re even quicker to dismiss the traditions of others as quaint or suited to the ‘old country’ but not to our modern, sophisticated society.

But birth, death, and the other significant milestones in our lives give pause and occasion to reflect. And in these quiet moments, the strength and value of culture and of our traditions shine through the patina of modernity.

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