There is a rather touching story from the East that has much to say about how we cope with grief and loss. The country was at war and a man lived with his son in a village. While the father was away on his travels the village was bombed and most of the wooden houses caught fire. He returned to find his house destroyed and the charred remains of a body that he believed to be that of his son close by. Heartbroken he had those remains properly cremated and placed in an ornate urn. This he carried with him night and day never letting it out of his sight since it was now his only connection with the son that he loved.
In reality the son was not dead but after the bombing had suffered memory loss and was cared for over several years before he could recall who he was and 4*where he had come from. Returning to the village it was now very different and his father had rebuilt his house on the original site. Knocking on the door the old man enquired who is was. ‘I am your son’ he replied. ‘Go away’, the man said, ‘for the past three years I have had the ashes of my son beside me and now you say you are my son’. ‘I am still your son, please let me in.’ ‘No’ came the reply, ‘you are only an imposter, just be off with you’. We dont know if the story ended there but it points to the fact that we can be so focused on death that we are unable to recognize the life that is knocking on our door.