Friday, October 29, 2010

We weren't ready

Why is it that we rarely appreciate how precious life is...until it is gone? Is it human nature? A flaw in our evolution? Do we descend from a long, multi-generational legacy of the inattentive gene? Probably not. Because... we can't fully appreciate life, until it is absent. Only then are we are reminded that life is fragile, tenuous, often fleeting...

Death stalks us. Of course we can't live that way. Thinking that. Yet, it is a reality. Whether you experience a loved one's life slowly ebb away, or get that phone call that someone is gone, it is always so shocking.

I have to believe there is something more. Another reality. Different. Perhaps not as glorious as heaven on earth. Perhaps more so. I don't know the answer to that.

We are so small. And whatever IT is, IT is bigger than we can contemplate...

Years ago, when my paternal grandmother died, I was living across the country. The night of her death I was awakened by a very bright light. So white it was blue. Unbelievably intense, yet it didn't hurt my eyes. I was not frightened. Without any doubt, I knew it was my grandmother, the room. The light hovered over me, and then went through me, engulfing my body in what I can only describe as a tingling buzz. And, then it was gone. She was gone. And, I felt touched.

Whatever happened that night - whether dream or not... It has stayed with me all of these years as a very vivid memory. It is my clue. What I cling to, when my world is jolted by death.

This week we lost the beloved wife of a friend. And, now the friend must go on. One day his wife is here, and then she isn't. I look at the vivid blue sky, and think of her. And, wonder why it was her turn to go. We weren't ready.

And, we never will be...

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  1. So sorry, Jennifer. Hardest is having to explain it to the kids when you, yourself don't truly understand.

  2. Your post about death resonates with me having lost my Mom a few weeks ago; although he death was expected it was still so hard to let go, say goodbye and now, to try to move forward without her presence.

    I love what you described when your grandmother died. I have never experienced anything like this before although I long to. It is the experience that I think would make me truly believe. Right now I take it on faith and that's a bit shaky for me on the best of days.

    Thanks for your post.

  3. we ARE so small, but so very powerful. Much love to you.

  4. I am so sorry. And you are so right.

    This week saw the loss of two fathers in our community and we have the same questions.

  5. Yes. So many questions.

    One thing I don't like hearing in situations like this is "everything happens for a reason."

    Regardless of one's religious beliefs I just think bad things happen sometimes. For no reason.

  6. I've heard that the spirits of recently deceased visit adults through dreams and small children.

    And yes, one day we are here and the next day we are not. It is truly overwhelming to contemplate our own deaths. Very sorry that your friend lost his wife.

  7. such a beautiful post. i'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. thank you for sharing the story of your grandmother. hugs to all of you.

  8. How very sad. And hugs to Kate, who is commenting here.

    Last week at work I spoke with a woman who is planning a memorial for her husband, whom she lost unexpectedly in September. It was hard for me to remember, while doing my usual work-place-sales-patter, to observe her and think about how she must be feeling. Afterwards remembering, I cringed sometimes - was I too casual? Too jokey? I tried to be low key and helpful while not being lugubrious, but it was odd. I felt both acutely sensitive to her feelings AND totally unable to put myself in her shoes.


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