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LETTER: Grief leads to humility

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"We would have a hard time trying to tell a lot of people grieving that there is love in their lives," a letter-writer says. — 123RF Stock photo

Pam Frampton’s Nov. 27 column was titled “There’s no grief without love.” Really?

Pam is one of my favourite writers and her columns are almost always interesting. At one time she and Russell Wangersky regularly wrote about Muskrat Falls.

However, I would like to share another viewpoint and broaden horizons.

Grief comes from many sources and often with an absence of love. The grief of the homeless and hungry. The grief of an abused person — and abuse itself comes in many forms. We would have a hard time trying to tell a lot of people grieving that there is love in their lives.

After almost 76 years of life, and many with grief, this is what I have observed and learned. Nothing, absolutely nothing can bring down the arrogance of an overblown ego faster and longer than grief. Secondly, I also somewhat disagree with the quote Pam referenced from Colin Murray Parkes. True, grief is just as much a part of life as joy, however it is not the price we pay for love. It is the price we pay for humility. Nothing tenderizes a hard soul or makes a person humble more than grief, and the more grief in an individual's life, the more humble an individual becomes. Because they are so humble they are more loving. Humility is the rose that blooms and brings the fragrance in life we call love.

After almost 76 years of life, and many with grief, this is what I have observed and learned.

More often than not, a child's first experience with grief is with the death of a pet. Trying to console a child and explain death is made even more difficult if the death was caused by flooding or fire rather than natural causes. Even though the pet is gone, the degree of grief differs. Compare that to growing up on a farm with the birth and death of animals all around you. It can be a spiritual occasion or an act of necessity.

We were admonished not to become too attached to farm animals. However, we had two dogs and a tabby cat that were pets. One summer day, grandfather was mowing hay with a 15-foot side mower when he heard a cat crying over the noise of the tractor. He looked and there lay Tabby with her four legs cut off. She was in the hayfield chasing mice. Tabby had to be put down. On the farm that was a .22 long shot. Grief was long and hard. Children, as well as adults that have experienced natural disasters, such as floods, wildfire, tornadoes, etc., as well as war, suffer greatly with grief. How many ask themselves, “What or where is love? I wonder.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are well known for their friendly demeanour and hospitality. But if you look at our history, that humility was hard won with grief. Horrendous grief from the misery of the Great Depression, through the tuberculosis years, and the ravages of the North Atlantic — including the loss of the Ocean Ranger — and many, many men who never came home from the sea. There is hardly a family, if any, that the Second World War did not touch.

The library has many books that tell of Newfoundland and Labrador suffering and grief. Yes, tears, our tears are the water that nourishes the rose that blooms and brings the fragrance we call love in life. But it grew out of the soil of humility that was hard won through tears of suffering and grief.

Richard A. Mease

Conception Bay South

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