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The Glory of Action ... Working Through Your Grief

by Lynda Pogue


This article is intended to be useful and hopeful for those of you who have suffered or are suffering grief. 

As you’ve no doubt heard a bazillion times: the boomer generation is the sandwich generation… sandwiched between caring for our young and our elders. And given our age, we boomers are losing our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends at quite a phenomenal rate. The sheer volume of boomers equates with the sheer volume of collective grief across the planet. And that’s a LOT of sorrow.  

Keeping in mind that grief has no age limit how are the hundreds/thousands/millions of us dealing with this momentous shared angst?  

I recently read the famous Canadian painter Doris McCarthy’s autobiography called My Life. (Personally, I didn’t think the book was great however SHE is great so it was enlightening to read her own unique portrayal of her artistic journey and her fascinating descriptions of early Toronto. Does anyone out there remember Sunnyside Beach?) As in most things in life, if you pay attention then there are lessons to be learned … and for me, in reading this book, it was the in prologue of McCarthy’s book. 

The following piece had deep meaning for Doris McCarthy as a teenager and remains to be a part of her 99 years on this earth. It resonated deeply with me and perhaps it will with you too. She reminded me of “The glory of action.” and how, when I’m stagnant, anything heavy in my heart (like the grief of losing someone close) totally depletes my energy. But when I get into action (painting / personal or professional writing / taking pictures / teaching / editing / researching / laughing with a friend or a stranger / going to a movie / cooking with my beautiful husband / playing with my cats Frankie and Petie / going for a drive to someplace new/etc.) then I know that my perspective on life will be much healthier and richer. Active Learning was a phrase I coined for educators in a book that I wrote many years ago… now I know it applies to all of us every day of our lives. 

I now launch into each day by reciting this ‘poem’ out loud because I realize that this is a great kick-start to the day! Perhaps you might take the time and patience within yourself to memorize this not only because it’s a good thing to do for your mind but also to give yourself hope and vision as you begin each day.

Look to this day,
For it is the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of its existence.
The bliss of growth.
The glory of action.
The splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow only a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look therefore well to this day.
Such is the salutation of the dawn.