In the last 14 months, we have suffered a lot of loss in our family. Four uncles, an aunt, and a five year old preschool friend of our son. That’s just who has passed recently…two of those deaths were in the last couple of months.
If we extend that period a few years back, I could include two more aunts, an uncle, a grandmother, my infant niece who I held in my arms just before she died, and a three year old boy who was run over in our preschool’s parking lot.
Yesterday, my Mom’s partner…her constant companion for the last 11 years, was put on life-support. We’re not sure, but most likely he suffered a massive heart attack and it is only a matter of time before he will be gone as well. This losing people? Well, it’s getting old.
I know that death is a part of life. I know that. But frankly, I’m getting sick of it.
I remember when my cousin, Kevin, died in 1991. I got to the hospital a few minutes too late to say goodbye. I will never forget stepping off the elevator and seeing my aunt mouth the words, “He’s gone”. As if not saying it out loud would make it hurt less.
His sister was with me, and I held her as she crumpled to a heap on the floor. I said goodbye to Kevin in a cold ICU, after he had already died.
Later that day, I went to the store to pick up some things for my Grandma and I remember looking at the person in front of me in the check-out line. I can’t recall ever feeling so much rage. I wanted to scream at this complete stranger, “How can you be running this mundane errand? I can’t believe you are buying this food! Don’t you know that Kevin is dead?” I felt like I might explode.
I was so angry that she was going on with her day. Yet there I was buying groceries, just like she was. I was infuriated by people driving their cars to wherever they were headed, but I was driving my car too. Because life does go on.
As much as I felt the world should stop, it wouldn’t…and it never will.
So, while my Mom sits at the hospital today, staring at monitors and watching a machine breathe for this man, people everywhere will be going about their day. Let’s just hope I don’t run into any of them when I’m out buying milk, because this chick is getting real tired of grieving.