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Can There Be Beauty In The Midst of Pain?

Ekim Nagirroc

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Ekim Nagirroc

Can There Be Beauty In The Midst of Pain?

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."  - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

What do you think about the above quote:

a) as it applies to you   OR:

b) as it applies to people at the end of life, 

c) as it applies to the families of people who are at the end of life,

d) as it applies to people who have experienced loss in the past, and are on their “Journey of Healing”, 

e) as it applies to people who have experienced loss and now take comfort in comforting others: 

f)  as it applies to people such as, caregivers, volunteers, people who work in palliative care and see it as a “calling” rather than a “job”? 

On the surface it seems almost impossible to see beauty anywhere when one mired in the ugliness of grief.  Do we only see beauty (or do we only become beautiful) after much time has passed? 

I love this definition of beautiful:  “What makes someone beautiful is what’s in their hearts and how they treat others.” - anon

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Hi Mike, 

Thank you for your interesting question. Having experienced the worst event of my life in my husband's death, I now feel a greater appreciation for the beauty and blessings of my life. Losing the most important part of my life forced me to truly understand the inherent transience of everything and therefore, the preciousness of everything. I also am much better now at not getting caught up in petty grievances and accepting the things I can't change. 

In Walt Whitman's poem "Out Of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking," he asked the sea for "The word final, superior to all" and the answer he got is "the low and delicious word death." Puzzling over this, I came to the conclusion that love as we experience it would not be possible without death. If humans were immortal, could we love with such depth and passion as we do now? So, yes I can experience and feel beauty even while grieving. And though grieving can feel desperate and painful and empty, like a bottomless well, I wouldn't call it ugly. Because it springs from love. 





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Ekim Nagirroc

Hello MODA

I’ll call you that because it seems warm and friendly.  OK?

I found your comment, “love as we experience it would not be possible without death.”  to be very interesting.  

I wonder if it is because in reality our “experiencing it” never ends? 

Our loved one leaves us, but love does not.

Just like the heat of a fire turns ice to water and water to steam: the heat of love changes from the physical to the spiritual.

And the mellowing of your perceptions of life, as you expressed it, seem to be a gift from your husband – a gift of love.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

I will end with the following.  Please comment if you feel so inclined.     -eKim


It is said that “The price of great love is great pain.”


Another way to put it is,

“Nature is so exact:  it hurts exactly as much as it is worth.”


And what answer do we get when we ask ourselves,

“Would I wish that I would never have had this great love

if it meant that I could avoid this great pain?”

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