Monday, January 02, 2006

A visit from Death

My sister-in-law is dying. Premature at age 59 but cancer disregards age. What was, last week, a diagnosis of "months" has, today, changed to "days."

I have lived through the death of a brother. He was 26, I was 16. The death of my husband's only sister. She was 26, I was 30. The death of my mother. She was 81, I was 38. The death of my father. He was 85, I was 44 - far too young to be an orphan. The death of my 3 day old neice. The death of my 21 year old (married) nephew.

Each visit of death brings recollection of all those that have come before, of all the sad hearts that have been finding their way through grief, of all my own pain at being tongue tied and overwhelmed so that I'm often unable to speak a word of comfort to those grieving now because I'm grieving so deeply - again - all of who have gone before.

This sad self-absorbtion is the success Death celebrates. May I resolve the losses and look to the needs of others. There is a time for my tears - in private, and a time for my words - now - to those I love who are still present.

1 comment:

  1. It's not sad self-absorption. It's layered loss, and it's part of being who we are. I think that pain better equips us to help each other because we know there's nothing to be said except "I'm sorry and I'll pray for you." And maybe a pan of lasagne doesn't hurt ...