Our human mortality has been on my mind for many weeks now. I can not pin point what brought it on exactly. I think it might have begun in September with the passing of a very close friend’s father. Few weeks or a month after that something else happened, then something else. Every passing birthday, or anniversary, or death brought me back to thought of our human mortality. The older I get the more people close to me I am sure to lose, that is, if I out live them.
This morning as lay in bed and watched my heart beat through my chest. It seemed fast. Thoughts of my own demise tried to take over but I pushed them right out again. Who wants to think about their own death anyway? A few hours later, I learned that an old friend in Detroit had just transitioned. I knew this was coming, I knew he was in hospice care but I also had a vision of it too.
A little while later in the morning I saw a message that said an old classmate had left us last night. I knew he was having a rough time of it but I expected him to somehow pull through. Shocked, I sat at my desk, and cleaned the tears from my glasses.
When we are small life seems like it will go on forever. As we grow we lose a friend once in a while. The first one is probably the most tragic for us. As we age the losses become more and more frequent. The realization of how short lie actually is creeps into our being. Suddenly stuff was once so important to us no longer seems very high on our list.
There have been several deaths in the past few years that have hit me hard. The interesting thing is that I was not very close to them. When a dear friend died of cancer, I was OK. The difference in my reactions is puzzling to me.Now I’m trying to figure this out. I want to manage my grief somehow although I am not all sure I need to or even if that is possible. A wise friend says we have 24 hours to cry, wail, and stay in bed. After that we need to get on with it. Life goes on. The wrecked car, broken relationship, spilled milk or even death is not the end of our life. We have to get up out of bed, get dressed and find a way to face our life beyond the 25th hour.
Ignoring our grief or stuffing it down and choking ourselves with it is not the way either. We need to express it. Finding a balance between life and grief is process some of us handle well and others can’t see to allow to unfold in positive ways.
I have more to say on this subject but for now I will be one with my grief and remember happier times.
I am proud to have known both of these men. The one who died last night I have known since seventh or eight grade. He was a journalist and well-loved by his colleagues where ever he worked. He was a very intelligent, witty guy, with a gentle kindness that everyone felt when he smiled. I hear he was a pretty good cook too. He was also regular reader of this blog and is the one I mentioned at the end of my previous post.
My friend in Detroit was someone I have not seen in maybe 35 years. I have kept in touch with some of his siblings however. His obituary said he was an artist, inventor, and engineer who revolutionized parts the aerospace industry. His colleagues called him ”an inspiration and visionary in his field of aerospace technology.”
Tonight I am sad but I can only imagine how much the families, really close friends, and colleagues of these men feel. My wish for them is that they all find peace with their grief.
Blessings to all.