1. Young-Mason, Jeanine EdD, RN, CS, FAAN

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"[horizontal ellipsis]grief, on a personal and collective scale, may be the most all-consuming, inescapable, and indecipherable of all illnesses suffered by humanity[horizontal ellipsis].


Grief, which is a spiritual illness derived from a loved one's death, has physical effects that cannot be diagnosed and treated simply. The impact is sudden. One's healing responses are unprepared and thwarted, and the expectation of recovery is indeterminate."1


These truths resonate with us now in the grieving world we occupy. We are overcome with the care of the dying amidst our own personal losses. Sharing our grief with family, friends, and colleagues can mitigate the pain of our fractured hearts. However, our deep sorrow never leaves us, although we soldier on. We know for a certainty that our grief has affected our health. We long for serenity of mind and peace of heart.


Mason's wisdom reminds us that we grieve with all humanity: "We learn from a loved one's death most of all, that our deepest yearning for ourselves and all humanity is for that transcendent compassion that can only come from the source that also gives life. And from that yearning and that compassion working in and through us can come a wisdom that enables us to resume living."2




1. Mason Herbert. The memory of death. In: Young-Mason, J, ed. The Patient's Voice. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company; 1997:4:6. [Context Link]


2. Ibid. p. 6. [Context Link]