15 08 2009

farewellA friend of mine died yesterday. Not really a friend, but I had known her for years. I had watched her grow and develop into a very nice young lady, always doing what she thought was right.

She lived with her parents until her father died and then it was just her and her mother. They did really well for many years. My friend had an IQ that was right on the line, maybe just a little above the line that separates those who are considered normal from those who are considered to have  problems. She tried very hard to always mind her mother and go to church and look nice and clean and be a nice person to everyone. Then her world unraveled over time. Her mother passed away. She lived alone for many years in the only place she knew as home. Her brothers and sisters all passed away over the years. She had no one to really watch out for her. But she managed. She always managed.

Then the house began to fall apart around her. The roof leaked everywhere. But she could still manage. It was difficult to prepare a meal because the stove didn’t work really well anymore. And the refrigerator sometimes didn’t get things very cold. But that was alright. She could manage.

Then the electric lines to her house got blown down during a storm. And she had another leak. In fact, several more leaks.

Since there were no close family members anymore, friends tried to help. But the more they helped, the worse it seemed to be. She could do alright. If everyone would just leave her alone.

Finally, there was talk of her moving. But she just couldn’t do that. This was her home. She had lived here all her life. She just couldn’t leave. No matter what.

Then she hurt her back. And her legs didn’t seem right anymore. And she was having some trouble eating her food. Some things just  wouldn’t go down right.

Friends insisted she go to a doctor to see about her problems. She really didn’t want to go, but she finally had to. Her back just wasn’t getting any better. She couldn’t even walk to church anymore like she had done for so many years.

The doctor put her in the hospital and kept her there until arrangements could be made to move her to a nursing home where she would have proper care. But it just wasn’t home. Oh, if she could just go home. And she cried late at night all by herself because she was so lonely and so lost and she needed someone so bad. But there wasn’t anyone anymore. They were all gone.

And so God called her yesterday and took her home to be with her brothers and sisters and mother and father. And I’m sure when she met God, she asked Him why he had taken so long to come and get her. She had been ready for a long, long time.

Life is hardest of all for those who are almost alright; those who almost make it to normal, but just can’t seem to get there no matter how hard they try.

She was a really great person and I’m so glad I got to know her even a little bit. May God bless her soul abundantly. And I’m sure He already has.


16 07 2009

Much is said about grief over the death of someone near and dear. Many articles in magazines as well as books have been written about the actual  act of grief and how to get through that time in your life. Those first few days, weeks and months are definitely hard to live through. First, you must face the certainty that someone is gone from your life. Then there is an adjustment of sorts. That goes on until your life is put back on track. Then there is a period of some depressing thoughts, perhaps wishing you had done something differently when you had the chance.

But the reality of grief is not any of these things. It is the lonesomeness, the wishing you could tell that someone special about something that happened to you. The sharing of a thought or a smile or an event.  And the knowing you cannot share with that person. That is the true feeling of grief and it never goes away.

My mother died in 1997.  When one of my grandchildren was born in 2000, I wanted desperately to tell my mother about the new baby. I knew I could not. Yet, the thought persisted all that day. From 8:30 that morning until bedtime, I had the urgent feeling that I NEEDED to call my mother and tell her about that new baby. It was such an exciting event and I wanted to share it with the person who would have been the great grandmother. I just HAD to call her. I just HAD to tell her about it. Every time I thought about the baby, I wanted to call my mother. In fact, at one point, I even went to the telephone, picked up the receiver and then realized that I could no longer dial that number.

I am not an overly sensitive person. I do not cry at movies, do not whine about events, do not normally shed tears about much of anything. So the actual grieving will have to be left to others. I have no time for that sort of thing. But I do feel that aloneness, that wishing I could share my life. It’s not about important things. It is the little things of life that I want to tell someone about. Like when I went to the store and ran into someone from a long time ago. When I rush home, I want to tell my husband who I saw and what was said. And he is not there.

To me, that is what grieving is all about.