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Passing

July 31, 2008

This morning I woke up with the taste of sadness on my tongue. I couldn’t remember my dream, or what caused the sadness, yet it was there. I am continually amazed at the process our physical bodies go through when it comes to grief, happiness, joy, loss, etc. etc. I was reading through my friend Christopher’s blog today, and he ironically posted on the same subject. I am going to repost it here, hopefully it touches you the same way it did to me.

 

It’s something that happens, when I speak of my mother, someone inherently thinks that I’m sad, they ask me if I’m okay, they get concerned. Not that this is a bad thing; I appreciate that they would care, and understand why they would think that. To them, the death of a loved one so close is still something they can’t imagine, and can only imagine it as sadness, grief, a terrible loss. And, of course it is, but there is an acceptance that occurs some time afterward, in which it simply becomes a fact, something you walk around with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not sad; it’s just how it is.

I can think of the time, turning 8, when my mother surprised me with a new bike for my birthday, even though I knew she didn’t have the money for it, and I can simultaneously think of the phone call I received telling me of the heart attack, and my knees won’t buckle, and my eyes won’t burn, and my throat won’t swell with that rusty taste of swallowed tears. I can think of those things, and carve my name into the sand, and watch it wash away in the tide, and smile at the sunlight off the breakers and tide pools.

What am I trying to say?

Simply that speaking of the life and death of my mother is as much a celebration of this world to me as is speaking of the beauty of Indianapolis, or of the satisfaction I find in a well-written passage, or the rush of dodging traffic on my bike, or the wonder and inspiration of good and talented friends.

I’m saying that I’m sorry I can’t explain it, how death is all at once terrifying and beautiful, but it’s something I’d hope you would never have to understand anyway. I’m saying that I’m sorry that one day, you’ll understand. It’s something that happens, when I speak of my mother, someone inherently thinks that I’m sad, they ask me if I’m okay, they get concerned. Not that this is a bad thing; I appreciate that they would care, and understand why they would think that. To them, the death of a loved one so close is still something they can’t imagine, and can only imagine it as sadness, grief, a terrible loss. And, of course it is, but there is an acceptance that occurs some time afterward, in which it simply becomes a fact, something you walk around with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not sad; it’s just how it is.

I can think of the time, turning 8, when my mother surprised me with a new bike for my birthday, even though I knew she didn’t have the money for it, and I can simultaneously think of the phone call I recieved telling me of the heart attack, and my knees won’t buckle, and my eyes won’t burn, and my throat won’t swell with that rusty taste of swallowed tears. I can think of those things, and carve my name into the sand, and watch it wash away in the tide, and smile at the sunlight off the breakers and tide pools.

What am I trying to say?

Simply that speaking of the life and death of my mother is as much a celebration of this world to me as is speaking of the beauty of Indianapolis, or of the satisfaction I find in a well-written passage, or the rush of dodging traffic on my bike, or the wonder and inspiration of good and talented friends.

I’m saying that I’m sorry I can’t explain it, how death is all at once terrifying and beautiful, but it’s something I’d hope you would never have to understand anyway. I’m saying that I’m sorry that one day, you’ll understand.It’s something that happens, when I speak of my mother, someone inherently thinks that I’m sad, they ask me if I’m okay, they get concerned. Not that this is a bad thing; I appreciate that they would care, and understand why they would think that. To them, the death of a loved one so close is still something they can’t imagine, and can only imagine it as sadness, grief, a terrible loss. And, of course it is, but there is an acceptance that occurs some time afterward, in which it simply becomes a fact, something you walk around with on a day-to-day basis. It’s not sad; it’s just how it is.

I can think of the time, turning 8, when my mother surprised me with a new bike for my birthday, even though I knew she didn’t have the money for it, and I can simultaneously think of the phone call I recieved telling me of the heart attack, and my knees won’t buckle, and my eyes won’t burn, and my throat won’t swell with that rusty taste of swallowed tears. I can think of those things, and carve my name into the sand, and watch it wash away in the tide, and smile at the sunlight off the breakers and tide pools.

What am I trying to say?

Simply that speaking of the life and death of my mother is as much a celebration of this world to me as is speaking of the beauty of Indianapolis, or of the satisfaction I find in a well-written passage, or the rush of dodging traffic on my bike, or the wonder and inspiration of good and talented friends.

I’m saying that I’m sorry I can’t explain it, how death is all at once terrifying and beautiful, but it’s something I’d hope you would never have to understand anyway. I’m saying that I’m sorry that one day, you’ll understand.

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4 comments

  1. My mother died today.

    I went online to find any suggestions of ways to tell people of a loved one’s passing, as I am going to have to make some phone calls and send some letters over the next few days and I found your post with Christopher’s excerpt.

    All I can say now is “Thank you.”


  2. hey brother,

    sorry to hear you woke in a funky mood. i’m glad my post was able to help in some way.


  3. @cindy, I am glad you were encouraged by this post. My thoughts and prayers ae with you.

    @x – you pwn.


  4. i’m overjoyed that i can do things in my life that would make my father deeply proud. and i can do those things in honor of him, such as enjoy my son and go back to school. and then, i am saddened that he can’t be here to share in this time with me. it’s such an indescribable feeling to experience both incredible joy and sadness all at once.

    thank you for the post. it brings me to 1 peter 5:8 and the encouragement that we all can understand in one way or another what we face in our lives.



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