• entries
    813
  • comments
    3,772
  • views
    232,509

from life to death


swilkinson

843 views

I went to a funeral today. It was the funeral of a woman not much older than me. I had known her since I was seventeen. I remember being introduced to her as K's girlfriend. I was jealous. This was in a household of boys I always thought of as "mine". I laugh about that looking back but you know how intense teenagers can be. They moved away after they got married and I saw them only occasionally. Then he turned up in the same Dementia Lodge as Mum, pitifully aged with early onset dementia. So we got acquainted again, B and I and had some good conversations. K died before Mum, in his early 70s but looking like an old, old man. So sad. Then she was diagnosed with cancer and two years later died.

 

I am still pondering Asha's blog to answer the question: choice or destiny? I do not know. I don't want my destiny to be a bleak road to death, on the other hand I also don't want to make choices that would blight my life. It always seems to come back to the eternal question: "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

 

We are not bad people. Basically most of us have not done a lot to harm other folks. Of course I only know what you write about yourself, the same way you know me and of course there is a lot we don't put in our blogs. I hope I am a good judge of character and would know if you were a mass murderer or a serial killer. But I might not know. All I do really know is that we all have stroke in common. It is what brought us to this site. And we are all here looking for support. And if we are able to give support that is an added bonus.

 

People ask me why I go to so many funerals - it is the same answer, to give support. To support the family of the deceased, to express my gratitude for whatever that person did to add to my life. I have a lot to be grateful for. B always told me what Mum had been up to when she visited. She would say things like: "Your Mum had a good meal today, she ate all her vegetables and seemed to enjoy the dessert." When people said things like that to me it gave me peace of mind.Looking after Ray as well I was not able to go to visit Mum as often as I would like to so I relied on others to tell me what Mum had been up to. B also came to Mum's funeral bringing another mutual friend with her. She was in the middle of chemo and wore a bandanna but she made the effort. So she was a good friend to me.

 

So if you have not done any harm have you done some positive good? I think of people like Sarah on here who gives out vouchers and pays for meals as her "acts of kindness" to others she sees as being less fortunate than herself. A lot of others on here oversee elderly neighbours, support friends with cancer, ask us to join with them in praying for others. These are not "goodie-goodies" just fine citizens and really good people. Communities are built on people like them and I am so proud to know them. Just as I am proud to know so many of you, not least because you are weak but try to be strong and fight to return to good health and in doing so you motivate yourself and others.

 

I have just had a batch of Christmas cards to open today and one struck me as very sad, a daughter writing to say that her Mum has Alzheimers, is in a dementia ward and cannot read or write now. That is sad as she is not a lot older than I am. So I need to really appreciate my present good health. I have a lot to be thankful for, and working arms and legs, a brain that works reasonably well and a good constitution are among them. i have been down for a while but think I am getting my sparkle back at last. Thanks to all who have been praying for that to happen.

 

And so in this time of seasonal and often artificial good cheer I want to sit down and think about life and death. To really think about what I value, what motivates me and what I can do to help others to see what is good in their lives to. We all have a lot to be grateful for, we just sometimes need some other sufferer, someone in a similar situation, to point that out to us.

7 Comments


Recommended Comments

I can't say I was constantly doing good, since I was usually working 2 or 3 jobs just to keep our heads above water. Also can't deny that I sort of liked being that way, always on the go. But one thing I always did, and which confounds me now looking back, is that I went to every funeral, and visited everyone that I knew was in the hospital, without fail. Guess I thought I'd get my payback someday.

 

Didn't seem to work out that way, not that I regret anything I did. I remember how surprised and pleased people seemed to be, to see me. Maybe my reward will be in a future life? Or maybe not at all, but that's OK too.

Link to comment

Colleen, visiting the sick and comforting the bereaved are important, it is not the least you can do it is what some people can do. It takes a special person. I know life is busy and that is a problem and will be more so as we age. Because as people have started working longer hours there may not be people who will have the time to return the favour and visit us in our time of need.

 

I don't think any of us are constantly good but a lot do have good intentions and turn them into actions. It is one of the things that gives life value.

Link to comment

Thanks Sue, and speaking of....just got off the phone with my neighbor, she has three middle school kids and they are just busy busy busy all the time. Turns out her son and his friend have to do a "community service" for a Boy Scout badge and they thought of me! They are going to come over Sunday morning for a couple of hours and do anything around the yard I need, so I spoke too soon about no paybacks. I'm not overly friendly with them, and she thought I might be annoyed or think it was weird, but little did she know that I was going to make a last ditch effort to get the yard in shape before the next snowfall.

 

Lucky me! Guess I'll have to bake up some more Christmas cookies in the meantime.

Link to comment

Sue you are more knowlegable of the bibles teaching than I - but i believe it is a biblical teaching to attend funerals ... again i can't for sure remember- it was mostly my dad who would read and talk about the bible -- he was pretty accurate for the most part... he read the bible 6 times - throughly... but towards his end years he was cynical about mankind and put his own spin on things at times... see the memory you just brought to "life" and it is a awesome , wonderful memory - thank you for it !!! I do know that all it takes for evil to prevail is for a good man to do nothing... that i also believe is biblical in origin and then some "founding father" pilfered it... but again i leave lots of room for my own error.... LOL..... between you and Asha - you are making me think... yes i could "google it" but i am enjoying my own speculating.... have a great day !!!

Link to comment

From birth and life, a bit of surviving good times and bad, getting educated, learning and living a good life, we all have to die! That's just the process and stages we all must travel!

 

The older we get the closer we are to our Home going and I hope to meet thy Father face to face!

Link to comment

Sue: after the heater emergency was over, Bruce safely in bed-asleep and I had time to reflect on the danger we were in and yet the beautiful way it would have been to pass this life, together-no pain, just fall asleep; the panic set in. No matter what, I am responsible to a lot of other people. And while it was truly ignorance on my part, still a reminder of how things come to pass.

 

Co-worker lost her Mom this past week. No illness, only warning was "not feeling well." A true blessing for Mom. Came down to breakfast with her love and husband of 52 years, rested in her favorite chair and just passed on. Something all of us wish for, but a nightmare for those left behind. Debbie

Link to comment

Sue, you have a caring soul that why you are perfect to be at a funeral.

 

my Mom would always talk to me about life and dead and God. She told me that even if bad things happen to good people , you always did good, because in the end, the bad people got they come uppers. Mom now has Alzheimers, and won't take her medcine. I think alot about dead, Mom always said "dead is harded on the living".

When I was in England, a good friend passed, he was only 56years. He went through a lot of sickness, yet here I am. I feel God wants me to do something before he calls me home.

 

Yvonne

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.