I apologize for being MIA for so long. I left to go to a beautiful wedding in Atlanta, GA the weekend before Thanksgiving. I had a fun and eventful time for many reasons, some of which I will probably write about here. But almost as soon as I returned, my husband’s father Larry had a massive stroke and died Tuesday before Thanksgiving. That kicked off several days of day-long obligations and exhaustion before we could finally bury him yesterday.
Some of you may have lost count, but Larry was the 5th close family member that has died within the last 2 years. Unfortunately for me, he is the 4th close family member that I have sat with while they took their last breath. Seeing someone die is, well, there are no words. It is horrifying and yet if you can distance yourself from it it’s also beautiful knowing they are leaving the confines of the body. When my Erin’s body died, it was surreal, but with the others I have been painfully aware of their struggle. Watching them gasp for the last breath is, again, no words.
I do not know why this has suddenly been thrust upon me. I say suddenly – yes it’s been two years but it seems very recent. And please don’t tell me that I could refuse or leave. Once you have the opportunity to be there with someone you love, living or dying, for support, it is your duty. That sort of duty you put above all others and you choke back your emotions and you do it. You comfort them – the living and the dying – and you love them.
I admit, though, that much like what I assume a social worker goes through, I am struggling with the experiences. First there are the experiences, then you sit and smile at the well-meaning people telling you all sorts of crap about how it will be OK (it won’t) and why (most of it pure BS), then come people who try to take advantage of the bereaved, and then there is the paperwork and logistics that a life is reduced to in death. Most people don’t know that if their elderly parent’s social security is paid before a certain day of the month you have to pay it back depending on the day their death falls on. That’s a rude awakening if you aren’t a rich person. I still get insurance statements for my mother almost 2 years later. There are constant reminders.
Yesterday when we got home from the funeral, I checked the mail. The top item in my mailbox was a damn American Girl catalog, which made me cry. Maybe it was Erin saying hello after Papa’s (pronounced Pawpaw) funeral. I know that her soul lives, just as the others do, and I think the universe is determined to have everyone around me die until I really get that and am able to work within that belief system finally.
Another thing bothering me is the inhumanity of all of us humans. People in my neighborhood are talking about killing coyotes and “what do we do with the carcasses?” How callous is that? They are living things, and we moved into their homes when this farmland, which is in the country by the way, was developed. People call each other names, have no regard for life, and live in a state of fear and retribution of some sort of on a constant basis. I would be disgusted by my vibration isn’t that, it’s just confusion and overwhelming sadness. I would ignore it all but how can I? The polarization of our planet is real and it’s downright scary.
And then there’s the unethical guy at work, the person who makes me want another job. I just can’t abide it anymore, and it’s depressing. If I had Zeus’ thunderbolt I would smite all of these people, but would be sad about that too afterward. There seems to be no win-win.
But I know things are darkest before the dawn. I don’t see the light yet but surely it is there, somewhere.
Blessings, and #missingerin <3