Death, Grief, and Adulthood
I have always believed death comes in threes. As long as I can remember, in my life a cluster of three have always been lost together. While they may not all be on the same day, or in the same month – they are always within a noticeable frame of time in my life.
My three began in the fall when I lost my big sister. Life could never prepare me for the hurt I felt during that time. The hurt I still feel today when I have a bad day.
The hurt from loss never goes away, it just becomes easier to cope with as the time goes on.
Then in June I lost another friend. A bright soul who was always so filled with life, to cancer. She was younger than me by a couple months, but watching her fight for her life and then lose was devastating. When you think of cancer you typically think of an older family member or friend who has lived a pretty full life, but the more time goes by, the more I realize that cancer comes in way too many forms at way too many ages.
A little over two weeks ago my husband’s fire department responded to an accident, car vs. motorcycle, on a dangerous stretch of road in our town. Two years ago a police officer was killed in the same area. It is just a horrible stretch of road.
It wasn’t until the following day I found out a friend of mine from years ago was the motorcyclist who was hit. And it was also then I learned he was alive, even through speculation was he did not make it through the accident.
This is also where I will write my PSA about looking out for Motorcycles during the summer months. They are out there! Don’t tailgate them, don’t cut them off… be careful! Listen for them, be aware of your surroundings… GET OFF THE DAMN PHONE!
Days went by and I got a hold of his little sister to see how he was doing, or if there was anything the family needed. Over the years I worked with his father, and his mother has been my APRN who took care of me for probably 6 years. I also asked for permission to go sit in the ICU with him, because I know in healing how important it is to really not be alone.
I headed to the hospital last Tuesday (the 17th) with a friend of mine who grew up with Adam. We sat for a while, and while he didn’t know either of us were there… it was certainly a spiritual experience. On the way out of the hospital, the same hospital I said goodbye to my sister in, I visited the chapel in the hospital.
A beautiful interfaith chapel that I spent hours upon hours in when my sister was in the hospitals care. I said a little prayer. I asked God to look over Adam and of course take his pain. Let him complete the plan the Lord had for him.
Adam died Thursday.
Died. Never coming back. The Facebook messages, the wall posts, the memories from years earlier… all reminders of howfinal death is.
But the loss of another friend isn’t the point of my post. I guess my point is that as we get older we are all going to continue to lose people who were special to us. Whether it is a friend, family member, someone we enjoyed laughs with in high school or a parent. These are certainties in life.
It is ok to grieve. It is ok to cry. It is ok to remember the good times, or the funny stories. It is ok to smile or frown. It is ok to let your emotions out. Just because you may have lost contact for a year doesn’t mean the pain of loss is going to be any less. Just because you had not hung out with the person for years doesn’t make the loss any less.
Death sucks no matter how you cut it. Let your emotions out and deal with them in a healthy manner. Bottling them up and putting them on the shelf because you think they may be inappropriate or over the top will only make it that much harder later on in life.
Ever felt an angel’s breath in the gentle breeze? A teardrop in the falling rain? Hear a whisper amongst the rustle of leaves? Or been kissed by a lone snowflake? Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place. ~Terri Guillemets