The Kennedys and the Jacksons: Two families in search of peace

Superstar clans that have lived with trauma and scandal look to bury the past in very different ways.

michael-jackson-dalai-lamaBY PAUL KAIHLA — Grief is a very private affair. But this week, it’s going very public for the loved ones of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy. May they rest in peace —  and for the rest of us, may we share the Dalai Lama’s brand of guidance and comfort.

The loss of a loved one is a shock to your system. It’s useful to remind yourself that you’re in trauma. A being who took up a Grand Canyon worth of space in your psyche is gone. The vacuum their loss has left leaves you confused – and reeling. So do drugs, alcohol, addictions, affairs and other escapes. You don’t need any more momentum in that direction.

You’ll keep asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Don’t even try to answer that question. You can’t.

9 Ways to deal with loss

Read the Soul’s Code slideshow: 9 WAYS TO DEAL WITH LOSS


Death is disorienting. But it’s not personal. Millions have lived through this exact moment of shock, and imprinted the very same thoughts you’re now having. You’re not going through this alone; you’re re-living something very deep in the collective experience of humanity.

Could one console and re-orient oneself with a deeper collective wisdom about loss developed across time and cultures. There are four noble truths in the Buddhist tradition. David Richo, a former Catholic priest in Kennedy’s hometown of Boston who became a psychologist and turned Zen, has come up with five:

“The Givens of Life and Things We Cannot Change”

  1. Everything changes and ends
  2. Suffering is part of growth
  3. Things do not always go according to plan
  4. Things are not always fair
  5. People are not loving and loyal all the time

For more insight about loss and grieving, check out the Soul’s Code slideshow: 9 Ways to Deal with Loss.

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3 Responses to “The Kennedys and the Jacksons: Two families in search of peace”

  1. Happy birthday Michael, wherever u are!

  2. Lindsay K. Fryer Reply 29. Aug, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Loss is something that every human has to deal with in their life. These steps make the process more bearable.


  1. DEALING WITH LOSS: Step 1 | Soul's Code: Everyone's a Guru - 01. Jan, 2008

    [...] Step 2: Re-orient Yourself with some Noble Truths [...]