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Updated on June 4, 2010

 Death can be debilitating. Not for the person who died but for the family members left behind. My Dad just passed away a few days ago and it has been so emotionally and physically exhausting and I haven't even gotten to the handling of his affairs and he had none in order to speak of.

I don't remember it being this hard when my Mother passed away but I had more time to prepare myself for her passing as she went through a long illness whereas my Dad did not. It was sudden. I'm grateful he didn't suffer but I'm also angry that I didn't get more time. My Dad and I didn't develop a closer relationship until my Mother died and that has only been three years so I'm mad that I didn't get a little more time at least. I always suspected that when it was my Dad's time to go he would die of a heart attack. The doctors told him when he had the two heart attacks that a third would kill him. He was doing so well or so I thought. He was driving, he was active, he was still in a sound mind, he was getting out although I know he was very lonely after my mother died. Nonetheless he kept putting one foot in front of the other and getting up every day and plugging along mostly for my sake I imagine.

One of the things I noticed right off the bat is how people don't want to talk about someone dying. Perhaps it's because they're afraid of death, perhaps they really just don't care, perhaps it's for other reasons. I realize no one knows what to say when a loved one is dying but the grieving person doesn't really expect you to say anything. He/she just needs someone to listen, wants to know someone actually cares about what you are going through. Caring is the most important aspect of the grieving process. Knowing they aren't going though it alone, knowing someone cares.

I wasn't prepared for how exhausting this was going to be and I haven't even gotten to the handling of his affairs and I know that's going to be difficult too. Because it will bring back memories, some sad, some happy.

Knowing someone is no longer suffering and in a better place doesn't make the grieving any less or any less hard to deal with.

Another thing I've already encountered are people that don't care. I mean the people you have to deal with. In my case, my first experience of noncaring came from the funeral home my Dad went to. I thought these people who supposed to care or at least act like they care but no such good luck came for me. This makes the grieving harder when you encounter people that simply don't care and unfortunately there are people that just don't care that you've lost someone. It can be a child and they still don't care. Of course if the shoe were on the other foot they would expect the people around them to care about what they were going through.
And there will be distractions along the way too. In my case the very first experience came in the form of a man who lived with my Dad for awhile. The man is nothing more than a leach, troublemaker and thief. I don't understand why my Dad allowed this man into his life. Perhaps it was out of loneliness, maybe there was another reason unbeknownst to me but whatever the reason he has risen his ugly leach head to cause a distraction for me and slow down not only the grieving process but the vital business that must be taken care of whether I like it or not.
Then there will be the creditors, they will come for their piece of the money pie if there is anything for them to take. After my Mother died the creditors came like vultures hovering over roadkill and although they offer their condolences it is not sincere. They only want to make you think they care so it will weaken you and they will insure prompt payment of Mom or Dad's bill. Their sincerity is false although well masked.

As for funeral homes I have a very dim view of them. They are there to take advantage of the grieving with their overpriced caskets and phony sincerity and trust me when I say this their supposed caring attitude is as phony as the creditors if not more so. If you have any doubts read the contract they give you carefully. It is a business deal where you hand them your personal information even if you are paying for the funeral with cash right then they still demand your personal information like a credit card company does so make no mistake about a funeral homes true intentions. They are there to make money and make money only and they consider themselves your creditor although they pretend that isn't the case.
Don't make the mistake of thinking these people actually care about your loss, they have to pretend to do so in order to get your hard earned(or your parents hard earned money if your parents are leaving enough to cover funeral costs) money. They are about hundreds, thousands of grieving families and they really don't care about any of them.
This was my first mistake, thinking that people that offer their condolences are sincere when the majority of them are not.

With death comes new life. New life for the person that has passed on and new life on this earth. You may not see the new life but it is there. Every time someone dies a new baby is born. In my case new life came in the form of new kittens.

Death signifies life and life signifies death. Death comes for all of us at some point and we hope that is a long time in the future. Death is a scary prospect for most even those professing christianity and no fear. There is fear because death is unknown. We don't know what's on the other side and until we die we will not know.

With that if you are going through a death in the family please accept my condolences as I know how hard it is. My Dad just passed away and I lost my mother four years ago. There are times I still grieve my mother and I suspect I always will. My mother was my best friend and confidant. My Dad was my father and I did not know how hard this thing called death really is until I lost him and I realized my last closest relative is gone and he's not coming back to this earth. I cannot say or do things differently. Remember that!


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