Monday, April 21, 2008

On death and dying

Some are bombarded with advertisements or peer pressure. Lately, I feel bombarded with death.

I recently recounted the people I knew that died within the past few years. Grandpa Miller; Karissa; JB; Tanya; Grandpa House; Ben; and last Sunday, Grandma Sims. My friends' friend died mysteriously in her sleep last month. I didn't know her, but I ached for her family as if I did.

All of it burdens me so heavily that I feel a physical weight in my chest and on my shoulders. I don't feel burdened only for myself but also for those around me, the families and close ones of the lost.

I am so sad for the husband of the young woman I didn't know. My heart breaks for Ben's wife. Some college friends had a miscarriage last fall and I couldn't help but weep for them. I ache at the loss of my grandma, for my grandpa at the loss of his wife, for my mom at the loss of her mom.

I can think about the past with Grandma, even remember sitting next to her as she died, and be ok. What hurts is thinking of the future without her. We all had dinner together the day after she died and raised our glasses to toast her. We told my 2.5 year old nephew to raise his milk for Bauby and he looked around trying to find her. The table was silent as we each felt the void.

After the funeral, the normal routine has to resume. I struggle with fitting back into my responsibilities, knowing that the world keeps turning and nothing has changed for anyone else, but so much has changed for me. My family will always be different now and it hurts. The weight of the world is heavy.

Jesus understands. When Lazarus died, He wept.

"Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannnot heal."
-Thomas Moore

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