A blessing and a curse........we have had several friends whose parents have passed on in the past couple of months. Some were ill for a long time, some died quite suddenly and unexpectedly. A friend called tonight, whose aging parents are showing signs of dementia......she called because she knew the disease ravaged my mother before she passed away six years ago.
I answered her questions honestly and tried to be gentle as well as instill a little humor......I could tell she has had a rough holiday season. I explained that the death of a parent for me, well now I can see the blessings and curses of a quick unexpected death, and that of a slow paced illness. My father died suddenly, he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and died with a massive heart attack.
My mother's death took almost two years......and sadly who she was died way before her body did.
I missed telling my father goodbye. My mother's slow death, changed our family, and felt at times as though it was killing me. Only a couple of months after my mom passed, my oldest brother died unexpectedly.
My conclusion, death is difficult no matter when, how or where. The passing of someone you love
takes a piece of you with them.....forever after there is a part of your heart missing. I think that our culture has made death even more difficult, it seems we have a put a time frame on grief, broken it down into stages, and tied it up with a bow. But loss cannot be measured by time. .....and it cannot be locked up and forgotten. Grief for friends and family and pets, can and will hit at the strangest times without warning. Sometimes the triggers are obvious and sometimes who knows what triggers the sadness or tears.
I think our memories, and the sharing of those memories are the soothing balm for grieving hearts.
And the realization that life goes on, that for we who are left behind........it is part of our growth.
We can work through the guilt, the hurt and the pain and continue with our purpose, or we can become frozen in time....... paralyzed by the grief and the change that has taken place in our life.
So whether death comes quickly or crawls.......there are blessings and curses that it brings for those left living. Whether we are consumed and killed by the residue of grief, or we learn and grow from its harsh lessons is up to us. Death is a part of life, some fear it, some welcome it.......but at some point.....it comes.