Thursday, August 16, 2012

Familiar With Death

It's been interesting to watch how different family members have been dealing with the death of my mother.  For some, it's very obvious and difficult.  Some only mourn when they are alone.  Some swing in and out of sadness.  I find my own reactions interesting:  it is as if grief has been pulled from a variety of sources, and the whole wad has been slung my way.

My grandmother (Mom's mother) died when I was about 5.  I don't remember much about her, but I have a very clear memory of how sad and dreary it was on the day of her funeral.  My dad's parents passed away when I was in my teens.  I miss them dearly, especially my Oma.  Mom's dad lived well into his 90's, and his beautiful passing is a most sacred experience of mine.  All the feelings of loss from my grandparents' deaths have come back to me these past few weeks.

Another grief that has resurfaced is the death of my first husband.  After fighting brain cancer for seven years, he passed away just after our 13th anniversary.  He was my sweetheart, my confidante, the husband of my youth, the father to my first five boys, my rock.  I was a widow at age 33.  Too young.  I felt so alone, so abandoned. I'm feeling that way again sometimes.  Alone.  Left behind.

Most of the time, I feel fine - happy, even.  I am so comforted by my faith in God's plan.  I'll see Mom again.  I will.  But sometimes the sadness wells up and crashes into me and all I can do is deal with the wave of grief.

I guess I'm glad that I have been familiar with death.  My mother's final arrangements were much easier than my husband's, for example.  That was partly due to her good planning, and partly because of my own experience.  Been there, done that.  And this likely won't be the last time.  I'm glad that I know where we go from here, and that we'll be reunited as families.  Death is just another step through God's plan, and I'm glad it's not a horribly frightening one for me.  It's just that much closer back to Him.


  1. I'm not nearly as experienced with death as you are. My mother-in-law, who lost her daughter 17 years ago at age 23 said to me the other day, " Death is like having your leg cut off. The bleeding eventually stops, but the leg is still gone." Our hearts often ache for all your losses and you are frequently in our prayers. We are also so thankful for gospel understanding and hope for incomprehensible blessings to come. Yours are piling up on the other side. In the meantime, as meager as they are, we will try to send all the blessings we can your way. You are certainly one of my super heros! Love, Love, love, JaNae

  2. "Death is like having your leg cut off. The bleeding eventually stops, but the leg is still gone."

    I like this. Thanks for sharing! (Donning my raggedy super cape...)