Thursday, February 3, 2011
The hardest thing.
My oldest two kids' grandfather is dying of congestive heart failure. He is the dad of my first husband and one of the kindest, gentlest souls I've known. My daughter is simply broken-hearted and there is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing I can say. No 'it will be okay' because it won't. No 'please don't cry, please don't worry' because there is every reason to cry and to worry. She is 150 miles away in the snowbelt and I can't hug her. I can't assure her that her grandfather is not scared and not hurting...... because I've not experienced death, I just don't know. My son is hurting, I know - but he's not made of the same material from which his sister is made. He is like his dad - and no one will ever know how much he hurts. And I'm not so sure how Ryan would take a hug from his mom right now.
Life sucks sometimes. Death sucks even worse. Maybe if I hadn't shielded them all from every little thing when they were little. Maybe if I had taken them to funerals. But really, does death ever get any easier? I know it is a part of life - just like birth is a part of life. I had the benefit of growing up and spending time near a funeral home. Visiting my grandmother when I was a kid and who lived right across the street from the funeral home that my grandfather founded, I spent a lot of time playing around death. Probably way more than my parents know. I'm comfortable with the thought of death. But I don't like the part of losing people I love even for a while.
For many years I avoided being in contact with old people. I was so afraid of losing them. I remember distinctly trying not to befriend someone from my first church because I afraid they were going to die and I just couldn't handle it. This was years and years ago. Since then, I've lost several people very close to me - my own grandfather, my aunt, and a couple of uncles. Crazy as it sounds, they are still with me. Well, my aunt is with me - I haven't seen my grandfather or either my uncles for quite a while.
I know there is more after we leave this world. This is more than just wishful thinking. All of my struggles with my faith have brought me here. But my daughter is struggling to figure out where she is spiritually and I'm not so sure of where my son stands at all. I wish there was something that I could say that would ease the pain a bit. I know their grandfather is not going to be in this world much longer and that it is going to hurt like nothing they can imagine. I know that they are thinking 'what/who is next?'. Their lives are going to change in ways they just can't fathom. But grandpa will be with them. I know this.
You've had a good run, Don. Now you just get to hang with the turkeys. And with Max. And with Tasha. The dogs of Heaven will rejoice.