Minority Opinions

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Dealing with Death

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This has been an unusual weekend for me.  First, I learn that a public figure has passed away.  One whose work I had appreciated, but whose time in the limelight had already been spent.  The next day, the death of a local community member was announced via mailing list, noting a long struggle with cancer.  The day after, I learn that a friend had failed to awaken from surgery.

We weren’t the best of friends, but we had each hosted and attended events large and small.  We had some common interests.  Our children enjoyed playing with each other.  It’s still a bit too soon, too sudden, too pointless for me to fully believe that it happened.

I’m probably fortunate to have lived so long without such a close encounter with death.  I’ve had pets make fatal mistakes, great grandparents wear out with age, and cousins fail to endure their first two weeks, but nothing so tragic so close to me.  It takes some getting used to; I’m processing grief in a mostly quiet way, while offering solace where I can to others affected.

My spouse tells me I’m not allowed to die first.  I don’t want to take care of children alone, either, but if it comes down to it, I’ve been instructed to keep an urn of ashes on my living room wall, particularly if and when I remarry.  Meanwhile, we’re depending on healthy food, exercise, and a low-stress, low-risk lifestyle to give us reasonable chances of living well into retirement.

My parents and grandparents are still hanging on, too, but with various health issues that may well catch up to them before I have grandkids.  In one case, I’ve been asked if there’s anything from the house that I would like as an inheritance, but my memories encompass the house itself too much to pin down like that.

Life moves on, passing us by.  We forge ahead of those who showed us the way.  One by one, we each learn how to let go.

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Written by eswald

23 Apr 2013 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Spouse

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