A moment has arrived that I knew would eventually and I wondered what my role would be. my older children’s grandmother is dying. It is clear to me that my presence there would not be appreciated, so the need to attend the impending events is eliminated. So that is not the issue.
I suppose whenever someone dies that I have known intimately, it reminds me that my time here is also limited. It reminds me that the impression I will make on others will be varied….there will be those who will be saddened, others who will sometimes remind themselves that the reason these postings have ended is because someone finally learned how to shut me up, but I believe there will only a few, a very few, who may be glad. (To those of you; dream on, my voice will remain in your head as it has in all the time we have stopped talking to each other.)
The main issue is how to help my kids. I know the concept of death can be scary to some. No matter what your belief system, there is no SURE way to know what happens next and to some, that makes death itself something to fear. Having been with a few loved ones when they passed I could witness there was no struggle, there was no fight to stay here. It has given me a sense of peace that when my own time comes, it will be a transition to the next adventure.
The other issue is how to help them come up with words for a eulogy; how to talk about their experience so it eases them. I firmly believe a funeral or memorial service is for the people left here. To not hold some kind of celebration is to potentially result in a lack of closure for some. So, the service gives people a chance to share their thoughts, their memories.
I remember writing a eulogy for my mother. There were wrestling matches over my life that I knew need not be included, but neither was I comfortable talking about Mom as a saint. She had her flaws and perhaps because of them, the fact that so many people loved her was more meaningful. It took time to get to that point of view but it allowed for a more thoughtful and heartfelt composition for me.
My ex-law was also a bit of a challenged person but I was able to point out some of her strong-willed actions came from a position of loss. Having gotten pregnant in high school, she and her sweetheart married, and at age 16 she was forced out of school. Not only did she complete high school but she went on to college and had a long career as an elementary school teacher. It is a clear example of her determination that she would make her own pathway despite obstacles.
So, go in peace Portia Garmat…..there lies a whole new place ahead to conquer!