How does one start the first post they’ve written in nearly three months? I’m not really sure, since we’ve never gone this long with nary a word. But then again, we’ve never experienced what we’ve just gone through during the last few months. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered firsthand that stress and sorrow have a way of immobilizing a person. I’m someone who has never had to deal much with death on a personal level, and unfortunately, it really sucked the motivation out of me. I have always wondered how I’d be able to deal with human loved ones departing since I’ve done so poorly in the past with the deaths of furry family members. The last few months have proven me to be vulnerable on all counts.
I just attended an event where I found myself mingling with many people I had never met before. Some were familiar to me, but most I didn’t know. As I sat and listened to their stories, I realized you didn’t really need to know someone very well to care about them, or them to care about you. I was engaged in polite dinner conversation with one person, and soon found myself telling her about the recent deaths of both my parents. As I fought back tears, she reminded me how death never comes at a good time. Even when you’re expecting it, you can’t prepare for the toll it takes on your emotions and how it turns your world upside down.
My parents were old and suffering from many of the cruel debilitations that come with age. Mom was 89 when she finally succumbed to her failing health; Dad was 93. Rich also lost his mom last August. In fact, we have been losing so many friends and family over the last four years that I considered myself a veteran mourner; one who could potentially deal with her own parents’ deaths on a more rational level when it eventually happened. But no, it hasn’t been that simple…at all. How ridiculous of me to think it might have turned out that way.
One detail I didn’t factor into this assumption was them dying less than four weeks apart. I’d barely wiped the last tears from my eyes over losing Mom when Dad passed away. Some of us had suspected that once Mom was gone, Dad would soon follow. You see, they’ve always done everything together. And Dad was a tenacious sort, always fighting the good fight up until the very end. It seemed to me he was just hanging on long enough to make sure Mom made a successful earth departure. Mission accomplished.
Oddly enough, the last post we made (back on Valentine’s Day) was about a trip we took up to Oregon. We surprised Mom for her birthday and did some wine country exploration. It was the last time I saw my parents, and something I’ll fondly keep in my heart. A quote found on a headstone in Ireland sums it up best:
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal.
May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm
I’m sorry for your loss, I’m happy for the memories you have of those you loved. How lucky we are to have people in our lives that cause sorrow with their loss. I hope you’ll get back to posting again, once your heartache has lessened.