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Grieving on General Hospital

As some of our regular blog readers know (thank you EndNotes loyalists) I am living in Chicago for three months, on sabbatical from the newspaper, doing an internship at Rush Medical Center in chaplaincy. (My planned encore career when I'm older.)

Anyway, I came off a 24-hour on-call Wednesday morning, followed by class on grieving cycles, followed by my "treat" for surviving on less than three hours sleep. I got my nails and toes done in a little salon down the street from where I am living.

Anyway, the TV was on, tuned to General Hospital. And one of the characters, Jason, has apparently died. His wife is in total disbelief, which we discovered in class that day is quite normal. Others were trying to get her to understand that Jason wasn't coming back, but she didn't care.

The emotions displayed were authentic for the most part, and I liked how they tackled some of the end-of-life concerns I've seen in the hospital so far. Have I reconciled with the people I'm estranged from? Have I made a difference? Why did the person have to die now?

The only thing pretty fake: The stimulant they give actors so they can cry. One character obviously used way too much. Her eyes were bloodshot as if she was coming off a bender.

But all in all, pretty good at covering some of the grief issues.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.