Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Life Isn't Fair, but Death Isn't Either.

Two funerals in two months leaves one pondering about life, death and all the issues inbetween. Sometimes death is the best you can hope for when life becomes nothing but suffering. A chronic or terminal disease in old age or no quality of life make death seem like a welcoming place to go. I get that for the two I have attended recently.

What I do not get, what I will never get, is a person in the prime of their life being told there is nothing else we can do. A man with two young children that were the light of his life. My husband's best friend, since as early as his memory can take him, has learned in the last few days that his chances are practically non-existant.

My heart aches for him , the things he will never see, the great attitude about it all as it was happening that didn't change a thing, his way of making us all feel better when we were worried the most, his love of life, his funny outlook on everything, his friendship and his knowledge that he may be at the end of this journey.

I think of him, sitting tonight all alone, when all the company has left and he is just with himself, his thoughts and his destiny. I imagine he thinks of his kids, how they will handle it, how he can possibly leave them, how he has no choice, how his mind is still so alive and how his body can be failing him. I think how he would live his life in pain just to be able to live at all. His job must be left incomplete, how desperate that must feel.

Our whole life we hear about hope, but what happens when someone tells you there is none? How do you say good-bye? How do you let go when all you want to do is stay? How do you look into your children's eyes knowing you must leave them and miss seeing them grow up? There are millions of books on how to live, but no one tells you how to die.

This thing we call life, you can't get out of it alive. You see old actors that seemed bigger than life grow old and frail and when you turn on the radio or the news and hear of then passing, it sinks in just a bit more that we all will be there one day, that there is no escape. You hope it is when you are very old and very tired and the inevitable is a peaceful ending to a long and full life. You try to block out any thoughts of being younger, you set it aside and think it only happens to others.

I am so touched by his courage. How many times in life do you go through something so stressful and wonder how you ever made it? You make it because you had to, it was the only thing to do. So, I guess when there is no choice, even in dying, you do it too. You pray for a miracle, accept you may not get one, try and fasten up all your personal loose ends and let go. It all sounds reasonable, but that letting go part...... that letting go part is what crushes your heart.


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