Death Recollections and Ramblings
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult at best. Parents should never outlive their children though it is an atrocity that occurs all too often. My sister was killed in an accident at the young age of 23 and it nearly killed my parents, especially my father. That kind of loss results in either the remainder of the family growing closer or tearing them asunder. In our case we became a stronger but smaller family through our faith in God and a damn good minister.
When the opportunity arose for me to move 6,000 miles away I know it pained my parents but they stood by my decision. And when I returned to their home state a few years later, they were overjoyed. We lived a good hour apart from each other but visited often. The years flew by. Seven years ago my father became extremely ill and was transported to a major medical center where he worsened. After a couple of tough weeks, we buried him. It was just before Christmas of that year.
My father’s death and the painful days prior to it were some of the worse days of my life yet it shouldn’t have been so. As we grow older we should anticipate and expect the passing of those that brought us into the world. Their burdens are over. It is time for them to rest.
My mother handled my father’s passing extremely well considering they’d been together for over fifty years. Two weeks after my father’s funeral my mother suffered a stroke and a couple of weeks later I was laying her to rest next to my father. I was in shock and if it weren’t for good friends would not have survived the ordeal. In addition to the shock of losing not one but both parents within such a short span of time, I also had to handle their combined estate, funeral arrangements and payments (also shocking), and all other matters so involved.
My parents had been well loved by a few close friends and dozens of others. Their support helped immensely as the weeks slowly passed. One afternoon while at my office I received a call from out of the blue from a woman who had worked with my parents at their offices. She didn’t hesitate, “I just heard from someone that your mother died.”
I prepared my response like I had done so many times before but before I could speak, this woman who was a few years younger than me continued, “Why the hell didn’t you call me?”
There was a pregnant pause and I tried to answer her curt question. She didn’t give me enough time and continued to berate me for not alerting her personally. I should mention that this woman wasn’t exactly a close friend of mine, that I didn’t communicate with her on a regular basis nor at all for that matter and certainly wouldn’t have had her phone number in my records. I mentioned to her that announcements had been placed in all applicable papers. And she responded that she didn’t read any of them.
It has been seven years since I buried my parents and as many years since I received that woman’s inquiry yet that is one of those little things that has stayed with me for so long. I guess the point of my ramblings is just think before calling someone who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one. It takes months…years before the hurt begins to fade. Comforting words are always appreciated. Accusations and tantrums…well, that’s just plain rude