Sunday, June 19, 2005

A tidal wave of grief ... and paperwork ...

I've been writing this post in my head for days now. There were a few nights when I just couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned. It probably sounds strange, but I couldn't turn my thoughts off. So, I laid in bed and worked through what I wanted to write here. I know I can't get it all out at once ... but maybe a little at a time ... I can work through what's spinning in my head.

You know, nobody can prepare you for what it's going to be like when you lose someone you love. Trust me, I read everything I could find on grieving and loss to try to come to grips with what we were facing. I've always said that I could handle anything as long as I knew what was coming.

Part of the problem is that nobody discusses the unpleasant details of what the end is like ... at least, not the end as it relates to congestive heart failure. But I know in my heart that I wasn't even prepared for the things I did expect.

I was so unexpectedly depressed to learn that a lot of death is just business. Just so much paperwork. I've never been present during the "planning" of a funeral. My experiences amounted to showing up, walking through the line, hugging, crying ... and then leaving. But when it's your family, you're there for each and every mind-numbing moment.

It's like a tidal wave rushing over you ... the death, the planning, the services ... and then, when the wave recedes, if you're unlucky enough to still be standing, you're left with all this emotional garbage just floating around at your feet.

And the far distant future
When I knew you'd be gone
Came too fast and stays too long
Why do they leave the weak of spirit
And take the strong

Rick Springfield - My Father's Chair

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