I have accumulated a lot of personal knowledge of death over the last 7 years. First 6 years ago, I lost my Mom. A year later I lost one of my best friends, my 32 year old cousin, a Special Forces paratrooper who survived 2 tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan, in a freak training accident here in the US. A year after that, his father and the only Uncle I was really close to out of my Mom’s 3 brothers died of cancer. A year after that I lost my only other male cousin who was 44 of cancer. A year later we lost my H’s Dad less than a month after he was diagnosed with cancer. Now, my Mother-in-law died last week of ovarian cancer after a week in the hospital and before she was even officially diagnosed!!
Holy shit! I cannot believe how many people I have lost over the last 7 years!! Is it me or does that seem like A LOT of death?!?! That doesn’t even count close family friends, distant relatives, grandparents, etc. Maybe I am being overly sensitive or dramatic but that seems like a shitload of death and loss to me. I don’t think I ever really stopped and thought about it like that.
I was raised to always find the good in every situation as well as something to laugh about. Because otherwise what the heck is the point? And I agree with that philosophy, it has kept me going through some very dark times in my life. I’m not saying don’t feel bad, mad or sad. I’m saying don’t allow it to define you. I don’t think that I have a dark cloud hanging over me or anything. Shit happens in life and you really have only 2 choices. You can either deal with it and enjoy life or you can sit and whine about all the bad that has happened.
Do you know what I think of? I think of their faces, smiling and laughing. So full of life and joy. They each led such extraordinary lives and had something so special about them. I mourned them and grieved the loss but now? I remember them and I celebrate all the amazing memories and laughter we shared through the years!!! I was so lucky to know them and be related to them, either by blood or by marriage. How many people can say they consider themselves truly lucky to have had 33 years with a mother so remarkable that she will never ever be forgotten? I can!!
Yes it sucks and when someone is grieving the worst thing you can say is something idiotic like they’re in a better place or it is a blessing!!! It makes that person’s loved ones want to crack someone in the head lol. It doesn’t matter that it is true or that you only mean to help, when a person is grieving almost anything you say can set them off. That’s just the nature of intense pain and suffering. You know what never ever pissed me off or hurt my feelings? I’m so sorry for your loss and a hug. That was always the perfect thing to say. More people should just say that lol. At least I think so.
I think the way I think about death is different than most. After being there with my Mom when she died, whatever doubts I had about the afterlife and seeing our loved ones again when we die? They cease to exist, 100% because she had the most beautiful and happy smile on her face as she crossed over from this world to the next one. My Dad and I thought maybe we were hallucinating, but then we realized we would both have to be hallucinating simultaneously but separately. We will see our loved ones again and from the look on my Mom’s beautiful little face? It’s a hell of a party when we do!!!!