Thursday, March 15, 2012
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid
It’s amazing how everything that was so important just a short week ago really doesn’t hold much meaning to you. You are grateful for very small things: A kind word, someone handing you a cup of coffee or a blanket while you sit in an ICU waiting room and mark time. You stare at a sickly green wall a lot. You get up and hug people you haven’t seen in ages and after a bit that gets tiresome also. You want to be left alone.
You forget about Republican primaries, March madness and spring training. You spend a lot of time being silent. You find it to be soothing. When the moment comes you are surprised. There is no real dam of emotion that breaks inside of you. You feel really disconnected from everything; like you are watching yourself in a movie. Every time you close your eyes you see yourself on a huge rock in the center of an empty field. You feel no breeze, hear no birds or bees, and smell no flowers. You only realize how alone you are right now.
After the Monday funeral you have an opportunity to cubby yourself away and be alone. The cold, icy knife of grief begins to poke and prod you. You don’t fight it. In the midst of that storm, off in the distance you see a small ray of sunshine darting in and out of the storm. As it moves closer you smile a bit. In the midst of this storm and sense of loss you realize the lesson you are to learn. You are learning what’s important. It’s not all the goofy stuff you’ve concerned yourself with over the years, it is the people you have met, the places you have been and the love you hadn’t recognized. It’s the moments you wished you’d seen what was REALLY their and not conjured it into “What’s best for me……” There is a certain sort of peace there. The clouds clear and your emotional spectacles are clean, you see. You even laugh out loud a bit. The lesson, albeit a long and hard one, was that you’d been looking in the wrong direction for a really long time.
Thursday evening, just a few short hours before he passed from this existence, my dad said goodbye to all of his grandchildren, one at a time. My son Matt shared part of their conversation. It went like this: “I have had a good life Matt, but it went by so, so, fast.” (My dad was 88)
“We just get one ride around the sun in this dream of time. It goes so fast and one day we look back and we ask, “Was that my life?” Jo Dee Messina
Be blessed today and stop for just a few minutes and take in everything around you.