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A lesson in grief: Celebrating the life of a great person


 
If you watched the news coverage of Nelson Mandela’s passing, there’s one thing that stands out: The people he has influenced the most, those whom his activist work has impacted, aren’t crying. Nope, they’re celebrating.

 

Now before you start thinking morbid thoughts, you have to understand something about how South African culture perceives death. Death is not so much about disappearing from the world, being gone from people’s lives. It’s about moving on. And so instead of mourning, they celebrate the life lived. You can see videos of people singing joyfully in the streets in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sure, they might be a little sad that the man will no longer be with them in the mortal realm, but he’s always there in heart and mind, and he has gone on.

 

It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? And it might just be a lesson we could all apply to those we lose. After all, I can’t think of anyone I know who has passed, not my grandmother or grandfather or my dog, who would have wanted to see my cry—especially over them. Why not remember their greatness, instead? Their love, their wit, their encouragement, their humor, their amazing bear hugs. The birthday card Gram sent you without fail every year. The way Fido guarded your bedroom door while you were home sick. Remember the best of them, learn from their mistakes, channel their wisdom. Do good in their name and have fun in their name. Because really, why not?

 

What do you think of this idea, babes? Chat it out in the comments.

 

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 12/7/2013 12:00:00 AM

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