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Monday, March 24, 2014

Motivational Monday: Malaysian Flight 370: Anticipatory Grief and Why Finding Evidence is Important

Photo from +Mathemania on Google+
Update: This afternoon the fate of the plane's path was confirmed as in a remote part of the Souther Indian Ocean. They therefore are certain that it was impossible for the flight to have landed safely. There have been additional sightings of possible debris, but none have been retrieved. This will be the beginning of the grieving process for the families. Hearts and prayers go out from around the world.

Thought for the Day: While I was thinking about today's post I was invited to join a new group on google+ called +Critical Shadows and saw the amazing photo that I posted above. It also explained that each dot is circling around the circle. Somehow it seemed fitting for today's Motivational Monday's post. 

The entire world seems to be going around in circles trying to find the remnants of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Last week, I was not thinking about this tragedy when I wrote Wednesday's Words Of Wisdom: Beyond Acceptance: The Secret Of Resilience However, my thoughts about the stages of mourning are applicable here as well. The families of the passengers of the flight are stuck in the excruciating limbo of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. The world is searching along with them for any trace to help explain what happened.  

Why are we all circling and mesmerized by the news which seems to be moving so slowly.
Grief is painful enough when we know what happened to our loved ones. When cancer strikes we know what happened and still are left with questions, could we have tried something else and prevented their death?  When there is no evidence at all to prove whether someone we love is alive or dead it is even harder. Psychologists call this anticipatory grief. In some ways, when a loved one is ailing for a long time, anticipatory grief  helps people prepare for their demise. However,  when a soldier is missing in action or someone becomes a prisoner of war without a trace, it makes it harder to accept that the person may no longer be living. The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian flight is similar to what happens when someone goes missing during war. Although hope for survival of any of the passengers dwindles as days go by, their families cannot begin the grieving process. As I said, in Wednesday's post, senseless loss with no clear explanation makes it even harder to move from denial, anger, bargaining, depression to acceptance and what I have called the 6th stage of grief, resilience. Hopefully, they will find evidence soon, so that the families will be able to begin the grieving process.

The only positive thing which has arisen from this tragedy is world wide cooperation of nations working diligently to solve this mystery. Instead of waging surveillance and war on one another, nations are sharing satellite images and rushing airplanes, ships, radar equipment and submarines to the site of where they believe debris may be surfacing. These actions are a sign of human caring that knows no national boundaries or racial prejudice. The outpouring of concern from people from around the world will also help the families cope. The world may be going round in circles and feeling frustrated, but they are doing it together to help the family of man.



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