I’ve been on hiatus…not because I decided to go on hiatus, but because life and all of its surprises took over and time…that elusive, fleeting stuff…got away from me before I could do anything about it.
Don’t know how many of you have been touched by death, but no matter how or when it comes, no one is ever ready for it…even if you’re praying for it. And when you’re one of the survivors…worse yet, a relative by marriage…what are you to do? How do you comfort? What do you say? What the hell is there to say that hasn’t been said or heard before? The frustration of wanting the pain to go away for those left behind is palpable and can render you feeling useless and feeling frozen.
A death in my extended family during the month of August, reminded me…on many, many levels, just how short and precious our lives really are and how it’s the small every day moments we remember about a person, that can be as large and wondrous as a full moon, when you realize they’re gone. Really gone.
So, I’ve been in a sort of state of limbo trying to do and say the right things, do anything that might soften some of the sorrow or grief for those most effected by this anticipated, yet still shocking death of a beloved mother, grandmother, friend, etc.
And now that we’ve all gotten back to the business of first days of school, gearing up for fall, football, or whatever floats your boat and takes up your time, it’s still nagging at me that a few of the people left behind, are experiencing those sneaky waves of sorrow that slip up on you from out of nowhere and pull you down into the heavy weight of memories and the realization that the one you love is gone…just gone. And that in the end you were powerless to do a damned thing to keep death at bay… as were all of us.
So, that’s what’s been going on for me and I’m still trying to make sense of it all…The swirl of emotions I felt witnessing family and friends endure the official goodbye and all the rituals that go with relinquishing a soul, or the memory of the way my heart seized up when my dear loved one gasped and let out a primal cry when she got the news that her mother wouldn’t make it through the night and how that call brought up memories of a heartbreaking loss of my own…and now the impotence I feel, fumbling around trying to comfort those left suffering. The ones fighting the reality, that when it comes right down to it, their beloved is never coming back.
Have you been through this? How do you handle death when it’s close or distant or you’re just the person who has to watch, trying to figure out what to do or say to make any of it better…because, let’s face it…what could? Is there really anything any one of us can say that’s going to miraculously make it all make sense…wrap death up in a neat little package we can all understand? I can’t. I’m at a loss…completely clueless…and yet I stumble on-making one attempt after another to try, finally deciding the thing to do is throw out a verbal life line to let my little brother’s wife, my broken hearted friend, know I’m here—if and when she’s ready. Not that I can make her sorrow go away, change it, or cloak her with joy and a carefree spirit…but, hopefully keep her tethered to now… be someone safe to weep, scream and bitch with… or sit silently…contemplating the vastness of a full moon and the realization that we all know so little about anything when it comes right down to it, and how there’s a freedom in that, as well as a sense of futility. Like death.
So, is there a right and proper way to comfort, provide solace…or make the hurting for those left behind any easier without sounding or acting cliche or downright irritating? I long to know. I really do.
So now you know why I’m a bad blogger-absent with no explanation until now. My heart and soul’s been focused elsewhere…
Have you been there? Is any of this familiar? Please share.