In my book Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy and Choices, I recount the terrible time when I was thrust
For almost four decades, I did not talk about the plane crash. Instead, I buried the tragedy and any associated feelings of grief as deep down as possible. That was the way tragedies and death were dealt with in the 70s. I was told, directly and indirectly, that the subject was closed, never to be discussed... the subject of death was unmentionable.
Not knowing how to handle the subject of death and grief, people around us thought it best to never talk about it. They wanted to spare us from more pain and prevent the stirring of feelings. Family pictures were put away, my mother's and sisters' personal items were cleared out of our house and we were expected to move on and reconstruct our world as if nothing had happened.
We received a phone call from the palliative care unit to hurry over, as my father-in-law was about to die. When we shook off the personal grief for a moment, the horror set in that the children no longer had their special Grandpa. He was gone and now we would have to tell them the sad, sad news.