It's late and I cannot sleep. I've been thinking a lot about these things lately...
Recently a friend from my Mom's childhood suddenly passed away. It has been something weighing heavy in my heart and brought other thoughts to my mind since the news of his unexpected death. Even though I never met him, I have heard many silly stories about him when my Mom revisited that time in her life. Since his passing his amazing husband has keep everyone update via FB. I have also not met him, but he too seems so wonderful and I pray for he and his family at this time of loss.
No one has it easy when some one special passes away. Even if it is something they've been preparing for such as this person is terminally ill or other health issues when the body is failing...no one can prepare for the loss of that human life. We know that once they are gone...they are physically gone, but only from this world. Even if my cousin doesn't realize it, I learned a lot more about this type of loss while working at the family funeral home for a couple of months one summer. I saw many families and friends filter in to say one last good bye...I slowly began to recognize it as more of a See you later.
At a young at I didn't understand the concept of death or who decided that God needed to take that person then...too soon, so suddenly from all of us. I was only in 5th grade when a fellow Girl Scout was a part of a tragic crime and murdered. I will never forget any detail to that day...I shared a desk with her as we changed classes at that grade level, this instance is still as though it happened yesterday in my mind. I curse the details that I remember as I can pin point where I sat in the packed church for the funeral which all grades attended. Within the next year a fellow classmate lost his father suddenly and also a teacher lost her father to cancer. That may have been first time I ever heard the word Cancer...Within the next 3-5 years other friends from my childhood lost parents. I also lost a cousin, who I only saw once but remember his visit...It was so tough to see through the tears and that infamous question of WHY?
Not until I spent that summer at the funeral home did it all sort of fall into place and click. A few years after that summer I can home for my birthday weekend...that Monday I was 21. As I did most times when home from school I went to visit me grandma (Blue Mema). I didn't think that this would be my last, but something deep down got me there and this visit was a little different...I arrive as she lie in bed, she saw me walking toward her and gave me the middle finger, I cannot make it up and only she knows it as til this day my Mom doesn't believe me! She did and we laughed then visited. Nearly 2 weeks later she went with God to heaven. I remember the call that made me crumble. I have that pain when my Mom called to share the news of her old friend...
What made her passing different and all those who have passed since is my outlook on death. Any time someone passes now whether it is sudden or pending...I view as God needed another angel to watch over us. Specifically one to watch over their family and favorite friends. I know Blue Mema would give me a lickin' (kick my ass for those who don't know that term) if she 1) knew I was writing about her 2) cry when I miss her or 3) think of her with the smell of cigs...There is nothing we can do but honor the life they had and the moments we were able to share when they were with us. What did we learn from them? What did you do that made you laugh so hard? What was it that scared you about them?
I learned not to smoke, not to slack off while running bases, to reach for the cookie jar during free throws, enjoy oldies music and most of all be kind to others everyday. These are things I learned early from those who have left my life far too soon and are now angels. I know that one day I will see them all again, but for now I know when they see me breaking down mentally they're behind me to encourage me and those they touched to keep moving forward. The love shared will last forever as death never stops love ever.