Friday, June 17, 2011

The Unspeakable Part 3


I wonder how us humans bear the pain of life sometimes.

I've written about this before.

The death of one's child.

And it happens again. In my community. To a lovely man who chats with me every morning as he takes his daily constitutional. Always dressed beautifully in soft khakis and a walking stick (to ward off unwarranted attention from the odd stray dog, he tells me).
Dan lost his wife a couple of year ago to cancer, a lingering death which broke his heart. This couple gave a lot to the community. She so much that I will write about it sometime.

Yesterday he gets the unbearable news that his youngest child, 44 years old, died from chronic alcoholism. All attempts to help him failed. I can't even describe the pain Dan is going through.

I saw the effects of the death of a child up close and personal with my grandmother who lost a whole chunk of herself that never came back after her daughter, my mother, died far too young.

And more recently, a beloved aunt lost her youngest of 49 to the ravages of cigarette cancer. Yes, I always insist on calling it that. And she lost most of herself and had to be put into care. A woman who was a golfer and bridge player only a month before.

And then, at my high school reunion a month or so ago, one of my classmates, herself in the after-affects of radiation and chemotherapy and barely able to walk, shared that four months before her 38 year old daughter, 3 months after giving birth to her last child, had died suddenly of an aneurism.

Heroes? I don't have to look very far.

They should all get a medal just for suiting up and showing up.

15 comments:

  1. you do lose a chunk, it's like somebody ripped a part of your heart out and that part will never grow back. An Army buddy of my Husband found his 26 year old son dead this morning, he committed suicide. My heart breaks for all of them .

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  2. I just can't imagine how parents survive the loss of a child, whether the child is brand new or a middle-aged adult.

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  3. You know I find it too difficult to comment on this, WWW. It breaks my heart all over again.

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  4. Oh Twain, I am so so sorry for that poor sad family. Nothing will ever be the same again.
    XO
    and special hugs today
    WWW

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  5. Marcia:
    I don't know how they bear it, how they attempt to carry on.
    Some things are beyond so-called 'normal' grief.
    XO
    WWW

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  6. Oh Nora:
    I cannot know what you suffer. Know you are hugged and loved.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. The irony of your illustration. It's the living who are living the dead.

    Yet life indefatigable: it just won't lie down and die. And what else can we do but "suit up and show up". Death where is thy victory?"

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  8. Marginalia:
    I suppose getting through the grief process keeps the grievers vertical. Like my friend tonight, so erect and courteous, holding my cold hand in his warm one, worried about my front door light while the mourners swirled around the casket of his now silent son.
    Extraordinarily moving.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Losing your child prematurely must be one of the most painful things you can experience. How people get through it I can't imagine.

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  10. Isn't there a saying like: "The godss hide from men the happiness of death, so that they may endure life."

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  11. it is, indeed, unspeakable. my parents lost two of their 10--my oldest brother drowned at age 18, and my sister, of course, died after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

    unspeakable is the right word. and there are so many others. but unspeakable may just cover it. i am so sorry for your friend.

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  12. Not being a parent myself I can only hazard a guess how devastating the loss of a child, or older offspring, has to be.
    To outlive one's children is unnatural - possibly one of the cruelest fates there is.

    Sincere sympathies to all who suffer so.

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  13. A family member lost her unplanned youngest son born late in life when he drowned as a youth. She had glanced away and in that split second he disappeared. He never surfaced and his older brother couldn't dive deep enough to save him. Mother couldn't swim. Think he bumped his head on the pool's edge rendering him unconscious. She and his brother were left to wonder, "What if ..." Both deceased now, too. The boy was like a nephew to me and I still wonder, though I wasn't present.

    I don't even want to think about how I would cope if my children and grandchildren die before me.

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  14. Yes, people who suit up and show up after death due to addiction and cancer or any other problem, deserve medals. Death due to natural causes and/or old age is somehow more bearable but waste of young lives for other reasons is more unbearable.

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  15. We expect to outlive our parents and there is a chance that a spouse might go before us, but to lose a child is like losing part of yourself.

    Moving on is not easy, only brave.

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