Final Farewells

Posted on December 29th, 2011, by iMinerva

burning candle

One of the Circle Gal Pals (CGP) lost her mother on Christmas Eve.  Although it wasn’t unexpected – she had poor health for years and was recently in hospice, her death left a sad void in the family circle.

We all have had to say “goodby” to much-loved family and dear friends.  Unfortunately, as time goes on, this becomes a more frequent event that never becomes any easier.  In addition to the emptiness we feel when an important member of the Circle leaves us, there’s often overwhelming regrets.  “Why didn’t we make time for the lunch we always promised on our Christmas cards?”  “Why didn’t I call to offer encouragement and love and express my deep appreciation for our friendship over the years?” 

And then there are the questions that arise.  “Why do I know so little of my friend’s – or mother’s, sister’s, cousin’s – full life story?  What were her fears or greatest joys?  What was her life 30 years ago or before we met?”  “How could I not know that she lost a child at birth?”  “Why didn’t she tell me she had been honored as a mentor at her university?”

There often even anger at a loved one’s death.  “Why didn’t she take better care of herself – or stop smoking, or see the doctor at the first signs of trouble?”  “Why didn’t she reach out when she was in pain?”  “Why didn’t her children/spouse take better care of her?”

I think the hardest feeling to deal with is the guilt.  “Why was I so short-tempered when she made me ‘crazy’, or why was I so insenstitive to her pain?”  “Why did I sometimes feel inconvenienced in providing support and care.”  “Why do I feel relief that I no longer have to watch her suffer through the pain of her passage?” 

Loss of a loved one is one of the hardest demands of life.  We know that death is the final journey for us all but we don’t know how to manage our feelings and support for others during their time of passage.  We have to hope that, in some way, love and friendship overpowers our many shortcomings.

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