You know how I said my thoughts vary from light to deep?…to be real, today my thought’s are a bit deeper – a bit darker. The sister of a good friend is dying, much before her time. She could be gone any minute now. I’m very sad for this woman and the parts of her life that will forever remain unlived. I’m just as sad for my friend and her family who have never experienced a death this close to them. For those of us who have gone through it – that first death that truly shifts your world – we feel even more for those close to us when they go through it for the first time, knowing what they’re in for – the forever change to their lives – the moment they realize they’re not safe from loss and that level of hurt. When we’ve not only lost someone we love but we’ve lost someone who loves us. When we realize the people we love the most in the world can be taken from us in an instant and we have absolutely no control, power to change it or ability to avoid the pain, for our loved one or for ourselves. The moment we have to reflect that we, ourselves, are also not immune and could be gone in a second.
As well as all those feelings, we’re also all re-triggered every time that someone else has this first experience and remember our own firsts. We remember all the details, feelings, reactions – we remember acutely again the person or people we lost and our feelings of helplessness and devastation. I guess, in some ways, its an honour to those we’ve lost that their situations to us will feel current again, no matter how many years have past.
Then there’s the struggle of how to move on. After 12 years that my mom’s been gone, I still have feelings of guilt if catch myself in a happy moment. How can I be happy when my mom died – she DIED! Does that make her unimportant if I move on? Does that mean her life really didn’t mean anything? Does that mean, when I die, people may grieve but then move on? Holy crap…we all like to think we’re a little more important than that. We’re all egocentric enough to believe that those we love couldn’t possibly go on without us. We’re also unselfish enough to want them to go on and be happy without us. But, that’s the complication of our human life. The one thing we all know – we will die. So, what’s the purpose of life? Why do we do what we do? Why to we battle to overcome struggles? Why do we try so hard to figure out how to live this life in a way that has some kind of meaning? If we know the inevitable conclusion, what’s the point?
My answer to that question is simple: none of us know. We don’t know the point or the purpose to having a limited time as a human on this planet. None of us know what really happens when we die and leave this human form. Where does that leave us? Just doing the best that we can – that’s it, that’s all. We all go forward making good and bad choices and living whatever lives we’re leading on a day to day basis. No matter who we are, we sometimes have inspirations to make personal change if we don’t like our world or ourselves, but other times we just continue to go forward, doing the same thing day by day, appreciating the moments of happiness when we have them.
I wonder sometimes how someone that’s dying can get to the point of acceptance. When you really think about it, don’t we all live all the time knowing we’re going to die? The only real difference is knowing the when. People always debate about whether it would be better to be gone suddenly or whether they’d want time. I think, for the person dying, it’s better to be sudden. I don’t want to know the end of my story. I don’t ever look at the last page of a book before I read it. I want the story to unfold and when the end comes, it comes. However, for the loved ones left behind, it’s the opposite. We want that time to adjust, accept, take care of things left undone. To be honest, I haven’t had the experience of a sudden death with anyone very close to me. I have observed the impact of a sudden death and the only difference I see is the initial extremity of the trauma. There’s really nothing else different. In my mind, I’m seeing a curve graph – a death that happens over time, the trauma is stretched over a longer, lower curve – a sudden death, you see an extreme peak. In either case, the curve after the death is the same.
Where will my thoughts be tomorrow? Who knows? I guess it depends what the day brings. Talk to you then!