P. Sunshine

P. Sunshine
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The holiday season is a time to rejoice, reunite with loved ones, spend time with family and friends. A time for celebration and cheer. The expected happiness this time of year is what makes a death seem all the more tragic.

The saying goes that death comes in threes. I have been notified of three deaths of people I knew within this past week. (ok, one is a cat, but I'm counting it because I don't want to think about losing any more friends!). The odd thing about learning of someone's death for me is that when someone I know has died, it has always been a person that I haven't seen in a while. A situation like this tends to numb the feelings of grief, the reality of the actual death doesn't ever sink in. I feel guilty for not breaking down and crying, but the bubble of protection that distance provides leaves me feeling shocked and surprised rather than sad.

About a year ago, my mother wanted me to attend her colleague's mother's funeral, she says because she wanted me to get some "funeral experience". I told her I was willing to bet that I had been to three times as many funerals in my life at that point than she. It seems in my lifetime, I have seen more deaths of young people than I have of the elderly. I've almost come to expect that someone I know will pass away each year, it's just a matter of who, when and how - this is perhaps another factor that numbs the pain of a death.

I like to believe that when we die, we are reunited with those that we loved and lost in life. I imagine my friends from college hanging out in some heavenly mountainous area, enjoying the essence of nature. I see my Grandmother swimming, riding her bike, the beauty of her days as a model restored in her face. My mind is at ease if I focus on the fact that those whom we have lost are now free of the burdens of living life on Earth, in our clunky bodies, with our trite day-to-day problems. We don't know what happens when we die, but as a coping method, I try to focus on what the dead may be experiencing rather than those left behind on Earth. This is why I don't cry at funerals. I've actually been to a few services where the family of the deceased released balloons, had uplifting music playing, and the general mood was a celebration of a life lived, not a life lost.

Yes, it is painful when we lose someone we love, especially around Christmas time, and I can't imagine what my friend's family and my (half) sister are going through right now. All I can do is lend my support, be a listening ear, and thank God for letting me briefly know these beautiful people.


harleyj said...

Hi Patti,
I have the harlyj blog and I realize it's hard to get someone to post a comment but I wanted to say that I enjoy your writings. Even though comments are few, if any, it doesn't mean that they aren't being read.
I live in Illinois and enjoy writting also.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year!


patti said...

Thanks jerry. I noticed that you like to write about political subjects. YOu might like this blog: http://invisiblefist.com/ thanks for listening!

April said...

Hi Patti!

Love your blog! Thanks for writing!


Anonymous said...

What beautiful thoughts! I, too, have been to many funerals and lost many friends at a young age, and the only way that helps me live my life to the fullest is to remember them at their best and think of them enjoying the things they loved best when they were at their healthiest and happiest. Hopefully we will all understand the why someday when we meet them again. YOM

Anonymous said...

Another lovely essay. You have such a good outlook on life and death -- as weird as that sounds. I want to be more like you in that way! And thank you for your continuous thoughts on Chloe. I truly appreciate your support.

Love ya, Laurel