Death and the Living, a Fatal Attraction

Yes, it is a morbid way to look at it, but it’s true. Those who are living often die when their family members die. They become so focused in the loss that many of the living have been known to stop living themselves. Recently, I lost two people very close, my father’s mother and my counterpart’s mother.

My grandmother we knew was falling away, and it didn’t hurt at all. It was almost a comfort to see her leave her body. She had 5 children, 9 grandchildren and a herd of great grandchildren to leave behind her legacy of her teachings. She was a spiritual person and very much believed in faith being a driving force in life. This is one of the facts she and I very much disagreed on but in the end I think my differences of opinion gave her the knowledge she didn’t have to lie to me, as I will tell you later.

Avis, my counterpart Leo’s mother, the loss of her took a little bit for the shock to wear off before I realized what happened. But once I was told by my counterpart and Avis’s husband what happened the day before, I knew it was going to happen. Avis apparently had a fantastic day of recovery on the 4th of July. So fantastic even the rehabilitation center was amazed she was doing so well. This bit of information threw up a red flag for me that had I known I would have encouraged Leo, my counterpart, to go to his mother and spend this GREAT day with her.

You see, I used to work in a medical office and did all the filing work for a small office. The doctor would document on how those in the nursing home that he would visit were doing. I would, in turn, file in these reports in the patients files. As I would put these notes away, I would read over them to see how our patients were doing. Often times, 9 out of 10 times in fact, the last entry remarked there were remarkable strides by the patients’ emotional & physical well being. Also one of the more common things I learned while working in this office was that many of those who pass, happen to occur on crucial birthdays, holidays or some sort of anniversary that is emotionally tied to that person.

Avis’s fantastic recovery from a double bypass surgery less than two weeks after 6 pins being put in her shattered hip, just over a year after having a partial amputation to her foot due to gang green and not quite a year from having a stroke and bad medical treatment/follow up. With all these events in such a short period of time she had such a weakened immune system this notification of great standings would have told me everything. Her body was giving her one last final great day and no one saw it. Since then Leo has suffered a lot of remorse based on “lost time.” Whereas, her husband Lonnie, wasn’t as stricken with grief, because he did go and visit her the night before.

It’s sad what people miss out when they don’t live every day as if it’s their last. People always seem to count on “tomorrow” to be the day they tell those they love how they really feel. The truth is so easy but so hard that often times people choose silence than to speak out what they feel and think.

At both passing’s funerals there was a family time to discuss the deceased. It was an uncomfortable silence by both families until I spoke out on my experiences. Avis and I had discussed this last Christmas her passing, in which she expressed her only fear was if it would hurt. My grandmother, I had a few moments with her privately about two weeks ahead her day. My grandmother confessed to me she had lied to my aunt for my aunt’s sake. Grandma had been claiming about how she must have fallen at some point and hurt herself because she needed her pain pills. When I asked her about it she just looked at me slyly and said she knew she was dying, and that she only said that to ease the pain on my aunt who was caring for her.

Death is easy for the dead and occasionally the dying, but so hard for the living. To accept the passing of someone when you have so much you want to say. That is why I cannot express enough how important it is to say what you think when you think it. We only live once, and we will die. So why leave the world silent and not stirring the waters?

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