Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Death is the hard part about life

Recently I attended a memorial service for my aunt's brother. He died suddenly this weekend leaving behind his parents, three teenagers, and four siblings. Watching family members struggling with emotions and trying to cope with such a loss is heartbreaking. How do you tell someone you are sorry that their son is gone? As my sister said the other day "there are no words". There are no words that can take away the grief and pain that comes when we lose someone we love so much. There are many things we think of when someone dies. What is there after death? Is there anything? I envy people that have total faith that there is something after this life. Those that know that dying is like being born again. I want to have that kind of faith, but truthfully I worry that there is nothing. It scares me that one day you are gone and that is it. All that is left is loved ones left to share your memories, but you will never talk again, or wake up again, or make another cup of coffee.

Besides thinking about our own inevitable death, we worry about losing others. The hardest part last night was watching his parents. It goes beyond anything I could ever imagine. Ten years ago this month I lost my best friend. She was thirty. It was the most devastating time in my life. At that time I had not had children yet, but still I knew that no matter how painful it was to lose her, my pain could never compare to that of her parents or only sister. For years I thought of her and them every single day. I cried a lot for many years after she died. I still think of her daily. She floats in and out of my head. I hear songs on the radio that we listened to in college and I convince myself it is her way of saying hello. Maybe that is my way of hoping that there is something after this. Something that speaks to me through a radio playing songs that we listened to repeatedly like college girls do. Dancing in a beat up Malibu, smoking cigarettes and singing off key, playing the same songs again and again. Those songs speak to me when I hear them. They come through in my car and I feel like my friend is there saying hello, or I miss you, or it is okay to move on. It is so hard to move on when you lose someone. In the past ten years since my friend has been gone I bought a house, got married, and had two kids. My life is nothing like it was. I often feel guilty about moving on. Guilty that I am here and she is gone. Guilty that I have a family and she could not. Sad when I snuggle my face against my own children, knowing how much I love them and can't imagine anything ever happening. Knowing that I will be gone someday, but my children will go on, the world will go on and maybe I can come back and say hi through a song.

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