Reverend Meghan Smith-Brooks of Cincinnati, Ohio experienced a grief many of us can not even imagine.  Her 29 year old son Justin was murdered in 2013.

The Spiritual Educator shares how she plowed through the grief in a recently released book entitled, "Unraveling Grief: A Mother's Spiritual Journey of Healing and Discovery."

Smith-Brooks was the guest on today's (December 18, 2020) KDHL AM Minnesota program.  I frankly invited her on the show because I thought we could all use her message during this COVID-19 year where all of us are feeling a bit of grief.

One of the points she made during the interview that struck me in particular was a observation by her, "When something painful and traumatic happens in your life it changes us at the core.  We are not ever going to be that same person. If we don't understand that then you know we're grasping at trying to back to who we were or even our friends and family are waiting for us to get back to the person they recognize.  That's not going to happen.  So part of the grief journey is coming to terms and getting to know who I am now.  That may not be a bad thing. Maybe there's something really beautiful that's been waiting to come out and be a part of me but at the same time if I don't process my pain it can shut me down."

While doing some research on grief before today's program I came upon a Helen Keller quote on grief that I shared with Smith-Brooks and wouldn't you know the quote is also in her book?

"What was once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose.  For all that we love deeply becomes part of us."  That's the quote from Helen Keller.

Two men killed Justin and both are in prison.  Smith-Brooks told the experience of getting to be at a parole hearing for one of the defendants, not the person who pulled the trigger.

Smith-Brooks said, "I actually told him that my spiritual beliefs and practice is forgiveness.  So I forgave him but he was responsible for the action that he made and he was where he needed to be and that I hoped he would use that time to heal.  To forgive himself and to become a better person when he was released out into society and I really, honestly hold that for him."


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