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Thursday, July 22, 2010

I had just turned five when my grandfather suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital. I have only the vaguest recollection of being in the hospital waiting room as my mother and grandmother spent time with my beloved grandpa during visiting hours. He didn't last long. I never got to see him again; I never got to say goodbye. During his funeral, I was with a baby sitter.

There were lots of tears. For several years, my grandmother was bereft; her happy face disappeared; all I saw was her sad, red eyes and broken heart. I could tell this thing called death was terrible; it caused profound pain and sadness. At age five I learned to dread death.

Can one recover from such intense, formative experiences, or are we condemned to a lifetime of fear and dread? I do think that freedom from the past is possible.

washing my face
still half-asleep

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