My neighbor, Carroll, passed away yesterday morning. He was 75 and he had leukemia (I don’t have a photo right now, but will add one when I update the “In Memory of…” page later this month). We smile to think of Carroll. We thought he was getting better – but obviously he wasn’t. My dad would say, “When your number is up, your number is up.”
Later, I was pondering this whole death and dying topic. That dash of space we get to live between the day of our birth and the day of our death. That “dash” is our existence and essence and when we see an obituary or attend a funeral, it sure does make us consider how long our “dash” will be and what we want to do with it.
Then, I mused about aging:
“As we get older, the older folks get even older, and eventually, the older get so much older to where they expire.”
so deep… (lol)
Some folks have an early death and it seems unfair. Others keep on living and it is puzzling as to how they keep on going. Some folks have abused their body and still have the gift of health and that baffles. Is it Genetics? Is it a powerful liver and strong immune system? Were they not exposed to radiation and harmful chemicals (i.e. like glyphosate from roundup). Were they spared from those bad heavy metals 🤟in water like so many of us are bombarded with today? Did they have strong gut health and a powerful recovery from microbes? Did they just get more sleep and that enhanced longevity? Did they have an awesome sex life and lots of healthy touching. Did they eat good meats (grass-fed) that gave nutrients as opposed to carbohydrate diets and fake meat or food loaded with chemicals like we have today? Did those blessed with a long life NOT have toxic dental work and not have poison leaching from their teeth? Did they laugh a lot and were they able to destress to help them live on? Hmmmm…
Have you ever herd of Jeanne Calment? She lived to be 120 years old (the actual age is debated) but there is a funny story connected to her longevity (here). When Calment was 90 years old (in 1965), a man named Raffray bought her fancy apartment (in Arles) with unique terms in the contract: he would pay her 2,500 francs (approx 500 dollars) per month and give her the right to stay there until she died – then he would get the place. Turns out, the buyer, Raffray, waited and paid that amount for 30 years until he died in 1995. Jeanne Calment died two years AFTER him, in 1997, and earlier she had commented on the contract by saying, “In life, one sometimes makes bad deals.” And I guess the flip side of that is true as well: “In life, sometimes one makes GOOD deals” – Or they get really lucky – super blessed – and just have things line up for them in a way that baffles.
It looks like we will be attending three funerals this month. Part of getting older, right, because we know that the older folks get even older and eventually – well – you know.
And with that said, if anyone out there needs grief resources, you might want to check out Therapist Aid (here) – because they have some awesome resources – including great worksheets on grief and bereavement.
For example, “Tasks of Mourning”
and “MY Stages of Grief”
Here are some posts to check out on the topic of death and dying – I might come back and add a few more links later.
- Robbie wrote a poem in her sweet reflections post called “No Tears” about her Grandmother Joan.
- The Amateur Guide to Death and Dying site has this post about the myth of grief stages
- Lisa Caraway Oliver has a Dying and Death themed blog (here) – and this recent post( here) has three tips for tackling different tasks after a loved one passes (written by Sara Bailey)
- End of Life University blog has a post (here) about how a grief counselor (Chase Cassine) used baking to heal his own grief (and it led to a cookbook)
- Alicia Rautenberg wrote a beautiful essay (here) about death and dying and how she sometimes robotically processes before she grieves.
Okay – wishing you a nice day and my thoughts and prayers are with those who are grieving – and may we all find hope and comfort when the pain of the loss stings. Let us all remember to embrace today for it might be the last part of our dash: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
Bonus comic for an extra smile.