|I lost an entry
||[Aug. 27th, 2005|02:42 pm]
In other news, Ferrett's grampop died today. Not unexpected, but sooner than expected. It's strange when someone who is that lost to the ravages of age finally dies. Grief comes in strange places. You can't be sorry, really, that they are no longer trapped in the husk of who they used to be. And there is a genuine relief that comes from their escaping the cruel joke of aging that robs even the most powerful person of all his dignity. So the grief is slower in coming, being hidden in a package of strange gratitude.
It does come, though. Everyone worries about that last impression, the memory of the drooling, twisted body and rheumy, uncomprehending eyes. That those memories will be all that remains of the person you loved. But they fade, and you remember the gramma who used to take you for ice cream, the grandpa who loved practical jokes. The alive and lively person who informed your childhood and helped shape you into the adult you are today. That's the person you grieve for, and when old age mugs them in an alley and leaves them a desolate echo of that person, you start your grieving then. It's not so sharp when the body finally expires.
But the finality of it. That sneaks up and trips you. That gets to you, at odd moments. Peppermint candy cane ice cream and peanut butter milkshakes can make me mist up because I used to share those things with my gramma, and I never will again.
And even worse, no one in the world will ever understand what they meant and who she was for me. Not even my siblings. Oh, they have some of it, some perspective, but for each one of us it's a little different. And then one day we'll be gone and no one at all will remember and she - and then in a few more years, we - will just be lost names in the mass of humanity that has lived and bred and died.
We want to be different, and unique. We want to be remembered. The death of an elderly relative, someone our spouses only know through our words, someone our children don't know at all, it reminds us how little we mean. No matter how much love we have. Blah blah blah, butterfly wings in South America and hurricanes here and the impact carried through generations. No one is going to remember HIM. or HER. Or, by extension, ME.
It rushes by, this life.
People always tell you to enjoy life, it goes by so quickly. And as a child and teen, you snort and roll your eyes because it is not going by fast enough. Then almost overnight you are an adult looking back, wondering where the hell did it all go. And realizing "they" were right. It does fly by. So damn fast.
"It rushes by, this life"
Your last sentence has been my theme song for the last year. I can't believe how quickly life goes by. When I was younger, I didn't understand this.
It's hard to see my dad gasping for breath as his lungs gradually seize up, more and more until eventually he'll no longer be able to breathe. I am hoping that his eventual death will be soft, in his sleep, just drifting away and not the agonizing gasping or painful heart-attack that could happen.
But, then, I really worry about my mother waking to that one morning. They've been married for 63 years this coming December. My memories of them are full of strength and vigor and laughter and industry. To see them now... well, it's difficult.
But I am glad that they had this good life and each other for as long as they have. And what is going on IS life. Someone once told me that the bitter parts of life just make you appreciate the sweeter moments all the more, if you are wise. I hope that I've been wise and I have savored the sweetness and get through the bitterness more easily by the memories I've hoarded.
But anyway, I started this comment meaning to offer my sympathy and didn't mean for it to turn to something about me...
My sincere condolences to you and Ferret. I understand your perspective entirely.
63 years. Wow. I wish them peace.
i'm sorry to hear about your loss. please give ferrett a hug for me, 'k?
As long as the person who was important to you is remembered, then they will always live on in your memory. I'm sorry for you and your husbands loss.
Yisgadal visgadash shemeraba...
I'm sorry, you guys. It's always a shock, the finality of it.
A long time ago I had an idea for a story...it would be about a person who loved people so much that he acted like an utter bastard his whole life, because he couldn't bear the thought of causing people pain by making them miss him when he's gone. I wouldn't really know how to write it. My mom being one of those difficult people, though, I find it really doesn't make a difference. Whether you have a lifetime of happy memories to relive, or five or six moments of genuine sweetness in a relationship that was 99.9% grief, doesn't really matter. If anything the good times are more intense for being fewer.
We must document our particular insanity for succeeding generations, I think. It'll be good for the context of our generation to be remembered because we're uniquely crazy, growing up when we did. It'll help our great-grandkids understand why we're so weird.
Life & the end of it seems to rush up on a person, that's for sure. :/
I'm so sorry.
I'll remember you in my thoughts and prayers.
My sympathies to Ferrett and family.
Today seems to be the day for it.
Nana died two hours ago.
Oh, sweetie. I'm sorry for your grief.
We as people may be lost to memory after a generation or two, but the influence we have, whether for good or ill, may be passed on forever. If I can provide, say, a student, with a place where he can talk about his day, when his parents don't really have much time for him at the moment, perhaps he will grow up and remember me and provide the same thing to a young person he knows, and that young person will grow up and continue the positive cycle without ever having heard of me.
Perhaps I'm idealistic, but I like to think this is possible.
I'm very sorry to hear of your and Ferrett's loss.
This is why I retell the old family stories. After several generations, the only thing I know about my great-grandmother's grandmother is one line, one thing she said in a family story. That's all that has survived to my generation. But it still encapsulates her personality, and so she still lives on. I've told the story to my children, and I hope it survives for a another 150 years.