CHAPTER 29

When the Worst Happens

Dealing with Tragedy and Death

No one escapes the pain of loss and sorrow. Death is as natural as birth for all living things, yet we tend to deny its reality until circumstances bring it home to us in all its fury. Most of us who haven’t yet experienced its chilling, debilitating force have known others who have had to suffer their own personal agonies and loss. When it happens, coworkers, neighbors, clients, and friends have to deal with the unimaginable, and want to offer comfort, but struggle to determine what their behavior should be.

Often, even though we may want to reach out to the grieving person or family, the circumstances make us feel uncomfortable and disconcerted—particularly if our relationship ...

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