June 5, 2023

2015 – A year of loss and grief

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neals_chitanBy Neals J. Chitan From Caribbean News Now

My year started with a request from nationals of St Vincent and the Grenadines residing in Toronto to respond to the trauma and grief in their homeland, caused by the January bus accident that took the lives of seven high school students, while leaving the survivors physically and emotionally wounded.

After delivering a series of high impact social skill sessions aimed at decoding and untangling the emotional web of loss and grief that incapacitated the multi-island nation, I left more determined to finish the manuscript for my most recent the book, “Pulling the Plug,” a practical guide to disarming the downward spiral of loss, grief, depression and death.

As the year progressed, tragedies multiplied at an exponential rate regionally and internationally, leaving people grief-stricken and broken. Bodies of infants washed up on the shores of freedom as refugees fled their homeland in search of peace and a better situation. Riots blazed the streets of American cities in response to the grief and loss caused by the bullets of unconscionable police officers. Local homegrown terrorists acting totally devoid of national pride, allegiance and fidelity struck at the heart of their own American homeland, while “Terrorism in Paris” capped off the international headlines of the year.

However, I did not know that loss and grief was going to sting me personally with such a potent dose of their emotionally crippling venom that it would challenge the very concepts I scripted in that book.

On October 24, two days before my mother’s birthday, as we her children were planning to surprise her with our gifts of cheers, thanksgiving and celebration, we did not know that, instead, it was going to be sadness and grief, as this exciting and extroverted senior became the victim of a stroke that would leave her almost fully physically incapacitated, while cheating her of her cherished independence and mobility.

Oh yeah! I got to experience again the emotional trauma that can result from the loss of physical endowments and independence, but this time so much closer to home, and I am so excited to report that the techniques in the book work. However, just as progress and improvement were clearly observed in my mom’s emotional and physical health, and the skies started becoming clear and blue once more, a heavy dark overcast reappeared and dumped torrents of grief on us again, as my younger brother was diagnosed with an aggressive terminal illness that currently threatens his life and has us staring at the inevitable in undeniable fear, hurt and grief.

And so, I stand at the end of 2015, challenging the old proverb that suggests that a bad beginning makes a good end, for it just may not be so for our family. However, the concepts of the book “Pulling the Plug” stand like giant oaks amidst the emotional hurricane-strength winds threatening my family, and I say “Thank God” for those strategies, because when they can bring hope to the very author that wrote them, they can be declared powerful. And why not? For they are rooted in the words of the Almighty Himself!

So despite the hurt, grief, trauma and loss you may have experienced this year, let us live with hope and faith in 2016. And remember to keep your eyes out for “Pulling the Plug” coming very soon.

Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous 2016 to all!

Neals J. Chitan is the Grenadian-born president of Motiv-8 For Change International — a Toronto based High Impact Social Skill Agency that is specially dedicated to the social empowerment of individuals, families and communities

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Commentary%3A-2015—A-year-of-loss-and-grief-28783.html

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