When I was very young (about ten or eleven years old), I heard that our neighbor, a retired physician, had lost his wife after a long illness. He was such a dear soul, and he had the most spectacular gardens in his backyard. The whole neighborhood could see his glorious flowers from the street. The backyard was a profusion of daisies and roses, snapdragons and lilies, hyacinths and columbines. I used to think there wasnt a flower in the world that he didnt grow.
I realized quickly, after just having traveled to various villages in rural India, that distance is relative. Hailing from a city like San Francisco, going even a few hours outside of town is far but twelve hours outside of a major city? I half expected to run into another country.
Theyve waited all night for a chance to see their newborn babies, whom the hospital is holding until the medical bills are paid in full. "Holding babies until payment is common in Indonesia," said Robin Lim, a midwife who founded birthing clinics in Aceh and the island of Bali. At this particular hospital in Bali, mothers who dont pay are allowed in twice a day to feed their baby and change their babys diaper.
How do you deal with death, the loss of a loved one when the pain is so strong; how can you let go of the people you once loved and still love so much; how can you accept the fact that you will never see those people ever again? How can you accept the idea of loss, of death?
Positive thinking is so firmly enshrined in our culture that knocking it is a little like attacking motherhood or apple pie. Many persons swear by positive thinking and quite a few have been helped by it. Nevertheless, it is not a very effective tool and can be downright harmful in some cases. There are much better ways to get the benefits that positive thinking allegedly provides.