If I continue to write as sporadically as I have been doing I'll be dead before I say all that I want to say. That may be a good thing.
I have been ruminating a lot lately about death. Not that I am a ruminant nor that I am in iminant danger of death either but nonetheless that is what I have been doing. Recently several people that I care very much about have died. (I despise the term passed away, it has no real meaning in this context)
My father has terminal cancer. Almost a year ago he was given a death sentence and told that he didn't have very long to live. Here it is nearly a year later and he is still hanging on. To paraphrase him, he hasn't died yet so he decided to renew his membership in the shooting club that he belongs to. I spent some time with him last fall thanks to some very good and generous friends and to my good and generous son Ryan. Dad and I got to have several heart to hearts and, I think to be able to say to each other things that needed to be said and things that we both wanted to say to each other, although dad and I have always been able to communicate with each other fairly openly.
That said, part of me, the pragmatic part, is comfortable with his imminent death. Another part of me, the emotional and, I admit, the selfish part is not happy with it at all. Layer that on top of the two deaths that have so recently occurred and it is enough to make me contemplate what is it all about.
I know what death and dying are about, but what is it about death that is so hard for all of us. What makes us cringe and shrink away from death. I have come to the conclusion, for myself anyway, that it is selfishness that makes it such a burden. I am not afraid of my own death, on the contrary, bring it on. There are days that I would be very thankful to be done with this mortal coil. But the death of others, those that are close to me, those whom I have loved, that I detest. They empty me in ways that nothing else can. Losing someone I love wrings out my heart and wrenches my soul as nothing else can.
It is a selfishness in me that I despise. It is not based on what I get from that other person, it is more embarrassing than that. Something that I find I don't even like to face in myself and yet I must and I must overcome. I detest, strong language I know, change. Please don't ask it of me. The removal of someone from my life is change, it is reminder, it is an acknowledgement of the march of time. That change is inevitable. Change is my enemy.
Sounds silly, almost juvenile, yet I am a creature of habit. Routine and order are what help me function. Without them I am at odds and I have trouble getting myself in order. Each death of each person I love changes not only my life, my schedule, my routine, but me. I acknowledge that it is good for me. I welcome it once it comes for the good that it is. But at the same time I dread it because I fear and dislike it so.
So my new resolution, and I am begging those who have gone on before me to pray with me for the strength to maintain my resolve, to open my arms to whatever change that the Lord has in store. Quit fighting against it. Find the good and the lesson that is there and learn.