Fear and Understanding

October 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

About Marie Curie

Marie Curie, the pioneering Polish-born French chemist, was the first person to win Nobel Prizes in two different fields.  She was born in Warsaw in 1867.  No Polish school would admit a woman, so she worked as a governess, sending her sister through medical school in France.  Her sister, in turn, sent her to the Sorbonne, where she met her husband, Pierre Curie.  Together they studied radiology, discovering two new chemical elements and inventing the term “radioactivity.” She died in 1934.


This quote, with which I am familiar, touched me this morning.  The death of a loved one is something we all fear.  I never really thought about the death of my son because he was 22, way too young for death.  But, it happened and my unacknowledged, worst fear became true.  Now, I am faced with trying to understand it.  The circumstances of his death are troubling.  There is no explanation for what happened.  There were no signs that anyone could have seen.  Was it homicide, accident or suicide?  We don’t know.  It will be months before the medical examiner provides an autopsy report and toxicology screen.  So, as I go along my journey of understanding and healing, I have the shadow of the unknown hanging over my head.  I am learning not to fear what I may learn, but to try to understand.  However, I feel that I may never truly understand.  All I can do is try.




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