A New, Different Hurdle of Grief
> 4/3/2006 9:32:29 PM

The war on terror has marked many firsts in the history of armed conflict, and as the Boston Herald reports today, one of those is making the grieving process increasingly difficult on the families that some of our fallen soldiers leave behind. For the first time many of those killed in battle are returning to families divided by divorce and, as the Herald article notes, this is adding new strains and difficulties to the grieving process.

Mourning the loss of a child can be difficult enough even with the support of a loving spouse, but for those who are divorced from the soldier's other parent, a death can force individuals who have moved on to confront other painful wounds. Often those who haven't spoken in years must come together to decide how to best honor the memory of their child. This creates a new level of struggle for many, and the situation has not been eased by antiquated armed service regulations that aren't prepared to deal with the situation.

Because this is the first time that a sizable number of casualties has created a problem, rules that dictate who is in charge of the body and estate of fallen soldiers are now being revised. Previously, the older of a soldiers parents (commonly the father) would be given full care of the remains, allowing him the right to decide final resting place and other things. But after the issue was raised, the Army changed its policy to require all soldiers with divorced parents to stipulate a person who would be in charge if anything were to happen.

The creation of a perfect system is impossible because all contingencies of the heart cannot possibly be taken into account. Nevertheless, the important thing to keep in focus here is that everyone is effected by the loss of a child, and that all people will deal with grief in different ways. By maintaining an air of mutual respect and compassion, even those with ill feelings about one another can better deal with what is one of the most painful moment of their lives.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy