June 27, 2009

Not Turning in my Sword for a Scythe

We all make choices in life. I chose to be a member of an organization where the women are all 30-40 years older than I.

They will die or their spouses will and I'll be sad, but I made the conscious choice to know them and be a part of their lives and I'll go to the funerals and bake and empathize.

I made the choice to be a member of an organization where people die of a horrible disease, where we fight collectively for a cure. I made the conscious choice to know the people we are fighting for, to get to know their families and their stories.

Some will die... some will survive... all will fight.


It is the little curve balls that life throws you that make you sit up and take a bit more notice.

Am I the only one that feels kind of prickly at times? Nervous? Waiting for another phone call?

It is the sudden deaths that leave me... hollow, I guess. They leave me waiting to see who is next.

Nearly 10 years ago, I got the first phone call... 830AM, just after Mass had started, my father in law was on the other end, "Pop. Slow down. I can't hear you. Where are you? Wait. What happened to Ma? Yeah. OK. Let me make more phone calls and I'll meet you there..."

And I spent the next hour calling my husband, his brother, his wife, trying to find my sister in law who was on vacation somewhere with her family, dropping my kids off at pre-school so I could get to the hospital, only to find, that in reality, she was gone.

Nobody actually had come to terms with it yet.

The next year or so, the phone would ring and I'd think, "Who's dead now?"

I guess that is what this has done to me. It's not in the natural order of things for a 41 year old man to die. It was complications from Sleep Apnea from what I understand. He was not a big man, about 6' tall and lean. Just not what you would picture having an issue that would kill him in his sleep... at 41.

I've had a headache most of the day, and I think it's a combination of things, the 4AM wake up, the 530AM run, picking up the boys from camp, the funeral, not eating, not drinking enough... and a pervasive sadness.

My eyes hurt from the tears. I am not a crier, but today, there was no control. I walked in, looked in the room, and there was his body in the casket. I looked at my husband and said, "I can't... I'm not going in there..."

It's the first funeral I have EVER been to, that was open casket, where I could not provide comfort to the family. I've written of it here before... I've been there and done that so many times, I can instinctively feel what families need. I know what to say. I can keep it together, and if the family wants to carry on about how great the dead look, what a great job the undertaker did, I can nod my head, and talk to them about it, touch the suit or dress of the deceased, talk to the family.

There was going to be none of that today. Dragging me into that room today would have been akin to giving a cat a bath. No way.

And it's when I turned to leave the room, that the water started to flow down my face. It was not a sobbing, but an uncontrolled rush of burning hot tears like a waterfall.

It was as if... my heart and my tears were connnected. It felt like my heart was going to burst with grief and as soon as the tears started to flow, my eyes started to burn, the pressure was relieved from my heart, and then when the pressure in my heart had subsided enough, the water stopped.

It was an odd experience, my eyes had truly become a relief valve to my grief... to my aching heart.

I didn't cry again until I met his family and told them, with the utmost sincerity, how sad I was for them, how I was so sorry for the pain and the loss.


Basically, I feel like the Grim Reaper as of late. My boss is doing very poorly, I lost a dear friend, a friend's baby died a few weeks ago, and... well... this feels like the death blog, and I'm kind of done with it.


No more death. I don't feel like playing with HTML to figure out how to drape this damn thing in black.

It's time for happy stories...

I need more Cow Bell.

Posted by Boudicca at June 27, 2009 08:15 PM

.... these days?...... I think that we all do.......

Posted by: Eric at June 27, 2009 09:39 PM

It's wise of you to know when you can be a comfort to the bereft, but especially to know when you can't.

Posted by: Bob at June 27, 2009 10:48 PM

Hugs to you...

Posted by: Mrs. Who at June 28, 2009 03:05 PM

Oh Bou - I am so very sorry...

Posted by: Richmond at June 29, 2009 08:24 PM