I think of you often, but especially around this time – August, 30th 1985, the anniversary of your death. I realized recently that I have forgotten how your voice sounds. How wonderful it would be to have a recording of it.
First we will feel and make room for grief, knowing that in love’s time we will go forward, greater than we were, better for having known another.
The technology of today, our medicine, have left us struggling with decisions that years ago we would not even have to think about. Our elderly parents would have died in their sleep in their own beds — no fanfare, no ambulances, no needles, no poking or prodding. Just old-fashioned death at your door, and he would come for you only once.
Our heart aches – not from regret, but from the memory of what was.
It took almost 30 years, a random sentence and an impromptu visit to an old friend’s grave to make me realize what I did that day and to show me how far I’ve come.
Bereavement is the worst experience most of us will endure, but don’t underestimate the effect of injury, job loss, relationship breakdown, or being involved in (or witness to) a violent event. The sense of being out of control can be overwhelming, but there are things we can do to put direction back into our lives.
Today, we watched his body being removed from the house he no doubt lived in for decades. Yesterday, I noticed that he hadn’t been outside, and I wondered innocently enough if he had “gone on vacation or something.”
Watching a friend go through the grieving process can make us feel helpless; a condition only worsened when we live far away from them or are constantly on the traveling road.
The death of a loved one is obviously going to be an emotionally challenging time, but amongst the turmoil and distress, there are also practical issues that need to be addressed, if you are going to be able to say your final goodbyes in the best possible way.
Tied to the earliest religions, the act of burying their dead is how many people make sense of life. The body that ‘returns to dust’ completes the cycle and allows sufficient room for mysticism and hope for the soul’s eternal salvation.