Photo Credit: James Whitesmith via Compfight cc
Many of my friends are losing parents in their 90’s. It seems like every time I turn around, I’m heading to a funeral. A few of those funerals have even been for much younger spouses. If you’re someone who is dealing with end-of-life transitions, this post is intended to ease your fear.
Celebrate the Loved One’s Life
I decided long ago that funerals should be a time of celebration.
I came from a family of Roman Catholics. Wailing at funerals was my grandmother’s specialty. For most of my life, I thought that end-of-life transitions and funerals were supposed to be morbid and depressing.
Well into the planning stages of my own son’s memorial, however, I realized the importance of celebration. Frankly, I couldn’t handle the drama. I simply wanted to bask in the joy of loving Michael.
Since that time, I’ve determined that the agony of loss, that internal wailing, is really for ourselves. We weep for that void in our lives. However, if we’re focusing on the person whom we love rather than our own pain, it’s really much easier to prepare for the loss.
Our son Michael’s birthday was last Wednesday, and even though it’s been over five years since his passing, my husband and I still haven’t quite figured out how to honor this most important day of our lives.
Something is over, and it feels a bit awkward celebrating a new beginning when it’s already past and gone. When something is over, it’s not just different or changed. It’s done, complete, final. Never to be again.
I woke this April 3rd wondering, when life and death intersect, what, then, are the rules?
September 1st marks the beginning of a 17-day journey down memory lane. Memories I wish I could erase. Memories about the last 17 days of my son Michael’s life.
The loss of a child is one of the hardest things that any parent endures. It’s been four years now. Some things are easier. It’s true what they say about time. I can’t say that time heals all, but it does toughen the scar. Yet, every year, on September 1st, I begin the day by looking at the clock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. I remember the exact moment in time when I received the call that Michael was in trouble. And the moment of his words, I love you and dad. The shock of code blue/red, whatever. And that final black hole I fell into when he took his last breath. All those horrid memories flooding in, and my wishing I could have stopped time, turned back the clock. If only I could have done or said something different that would have reversed the circumstances. Even still, I have these thoughts. Not only through the September days of mourn, but each and every morn.