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The Many Faces of Grief: F



Fear, Freedom lost

On Fear:


“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 Inaugural Address


Indeed, FEAR is the mother of all issues of grief and loss. It dogs us all the days of our lives. Fear is constant; a bedrock of being in this world that seems to be more prevalent as the times we live in are becoming more dangerous every day. Sometimes it nips at our heels; sometimes it trails us as we sprint ahead. But it’s always there. Just waiting.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family are great symbols for our topic today; Franklin knew what he was talking about when he spoke of fear. The Roosevelts – Franklin, Theodore, and Eleanor – were conflicted souls, all deeply wounded, and each of them carried a burden of grief that they took to their graves. The Ken Burns PBS documentary, The Roosevelts, offers us a masterful telling of their intertwined lives, the grief that underscored their individual lives, the challenges that altered their lives, and the triumphs that we still celebrate today.


To dissect fear, we want to look at its opposite: COURAGE. For the Roosevelts, it was all about “courage in action”. For Franklin, it meant moving with polio through 4 terms as the President of the United States; for Eleanor, it meant decades of activism for human rights; for Theodore, it meant moving through the world like a bull in a china shop, or as a fierce lion………….or as a political bull moose. In every case, the Roosevelts moved through, or with, their grief to affect world change. No, they were not super-heroes; they were as real as the New York dust from which they had all been born.


I’m thinking now about my own dear little family; long ago, in a simpler world, we used to love taking little outings into the country-side. Just exploring, seeing the world, cherishing our sweet, uncomplicated days as a young family with several small children. From the back seat, a 2-3 year old little boy cried, “Mama, where are we? Do you know the way home? Are we lost?”

Good question: are we lost? Surely, every one of us has a story-line of fear. It is part of the human condition. In fact, it seems that fear finds us quite early in life. I did my best to comfort and console that precious little boy, but he was uneasy; he was fearful away from home, even though we were all together. As a young mother, I was quite puzzled about his questions and especially about his fear.


Some 25 years later, as he lay dying, he told me that he was going “home”. I just made that connection. Just this minute. “HOME”. Looking back, I see that his short life on earth was always pulling and pushing him closer to home, that place that magnetized him, beamed him on, and authorized his choices and direction.

In these and many other instances, we might perceive fear as a catalyst that carves a pathway to courage in action. In my own family I see the paths of music, education, creativity, sports and many other paths that allow us to move forward with courage, in spite of the fear. In the case of the Roosevelts, it was their alignment with service to humanity. In my son’s case, it was the call homeward; and as he moved through the challenges of cancer, he was the very epitome of courage. He spoke of his sorrow; his disappointment; his concern for all of us; but he never once spoke of fear. Amazing Grace.


We might think of these polarities – FEAR and COURAGE – as frequencies – actual vibrations that we literally feel in the body. Courage feels way more wonderful, right?! It’s quite exciting and absolutely does lift our spirits, keeps us motivated and lit up, and serves all of our dear ones as we navigate our way through this field trip called “life”.


It is the mission and the great wish of GriefSpeak to motivate you, Dear Readers, to invite you to move beyond fear – the mother of all grief and loss – and to light a flame under your fear-frequency. Beyond fear is where we want to hang out – in the flow of more light, more joy, and more peace. And especially in the flow of Courage in Action!



“What is approaching from the future will create panic to the majority of the World, but there will be a chosen few that will welcome the purification.

I was told through a ceremony that the Earth is going to shift from her axis. I sometimes feel as I am the only Human Being to recognize this. I do not have a religious person to tell me about who “god” is or what will happen to me if I don’t fear him.

I have a Sacred Pipe and with this pipe I can communicate with the Ancient Spirits and with Wakan Tanka (The Great Mystery). I was informed many times to not fear the Ancient Spirits or Wakan Tanka, because they are the future. I try to live my life as the Lakota people during the times of my Great-Grandfather Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).

These values are generosity, compassion, courage and visions for the future.

My only hope is that the people reading my words will understand my points. The vision I was given was at Bear Butte in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The Spirit answered my vision, the Spirit said this is what is coming from the future, because the people are ignorant and haven’t turned to face the future, but live for monetary and material wealth

They have the chance to change their ways now, if they so desire, because the fate of the future is not set in stone; we can change the course, if the people of the World can act together.”

Ernie LaPointe, Great-Grandson of Sitting Bull Black Hills, South Dakota, December 2015



On the loss of freedom:


The woman wanderer goes forth to seek the Land of Freedom.

“How am I to get there?”

Reason answers: “There is one way, and one only. Down the banks of labor, through the water of suffering. There is no other.” The woman, having lost or discarded all to which she had formerly clung, cries out: “For what do I go to this far land which no one has ever reached? Oh, I am alone! I am utterly alone!”


And reason said to her, “Silence.” But soon she hears the sounds of feet, a thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, and they beat this way! “They are the feet of those who shall follow you. Lead on.”

~ Olive Schreiner