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Uncovering laughter, joy and sanity in everyday life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We cannot fix pain, sorrow, dying or death

"Day by day we are building for eternity ... Every gentle word, every generous thought, every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come."Rebecca R. Springer

My thoughts are cool, clear and crisp... as is the day outside: It feels and smells as October should - of damp leaves, chrysanthemums and wood burning stoves. A friend asked me recently why I don't let myself feel? I replied, "I haven't had the time." Today, is a day, I'm taking a time to feel.

Steven's father passed away Thursday, October 1st, 2009 around 2 p.m. in the afternoon. I feel a weight has been lifted from my heart. I've watched my husband walk around with a specific degree of hurt over the passed year. While he expresses his feelings differently than others, I could see how his fathers illness had impact on his being. I've known my father-in-law for 10 years, which was not long enough.

I do not know what it is like to lose a birth parent to death and I wish I could find more sympathy within myself. Death always has a way of putting your own mortality into perspective. I've always believed I'm food for worms. Our soul, having a life of its own, becoming part of the electrical collective... that is our universe. My heart aches to see physical decline of life, but it's natural - that I understand.

After giving my own grandmother a bath and dressing her for my grandfather's memorial service, I've seen how hard loosing a spouse will be. What I would look like in the bare flesh at old age. Each line, wrinkle, scar, bruise - the sagging of flesh from my bones, dry skin that easily tears. Aging scares me more than death. Never having a grandchild scares me even more.

I get extremely defensive of my husbands needs and feelings. He's a planner, if you tell him what is going on, make plans with him, he feels better. While plans change frequently, he is better equipped for a situation. Various times I find myself seeing him with a reasonable opinion and never being part of the conversation. In our own lives together, it is tremendously isolating to be talked at and never heard. Grief is selfish, dirty and cannot be shared equally. Over this time I've witnessed how we are too busy, consumed with our own feelings, forcing tolerance and ignoring others along the way. We stop listening to one another and tune each other out.

“I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken - and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.” -Margaret Mitchell

Own your martyrdom, don't try to pass the torch, you may be disappointed with the result. The effort to fix someone else is often met with inflexibility. Be a positive model and hope that facilitates change. This is hard for me, I want to fix things, people, animals... much of it beyond my control, especially loss due to death.

"Have you told your father you love him and are going to miss him?"

"I've talked to him."

I brought the DVD's of home movies his father made, to help celebrate his life. I'm jealous not to own such a collection. I cherish the china that was passed down to me - but have wished for more memories of laughter, camping trips and family vacations. My childhood memories are becoming faint. Photographs, some burned along the edges, barely surviving a fire.

My husbands love of history is directly inherited from his parents. I would never have collected from my Poppa, very specific recollections of his time in the Canadian Navy. It took my Grama's breath away to hear new stories after 52 years of marriage. My husband talked extensively with Poppa before he passed. For a brief time, we shared a grandfather.

I've connected with wonderful, warm, honest, caring people over the past few years.Some I've met through work and play. Others - strangers from the internet, where we share common interest. Thank you for your friendship and kindness - You are what keeps me warm at night... Lasting longer than any wood burning stove on these crisp October nights.

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