Yesterday I got a phone call to let me know that the father of a close high school friend had died. With people who have been here for generations, it is of course different for us than for city people. His father I knew before I started school, his dad was a friend of my dad, we had been to each other's places since I can remember.
I feel sympathy for my friend but I don't feel sad, I think we can only celebrate his life because death is inevitable. My friend sadly has joined "the club", it's something that comes with our age, the loss of our parents, specifically our fathers. I know people crunch numbers but the scary fact for men is we have a shorter lifespan. Most of my classmates and I have been together since grade one, there were around 32 of us, out of the 32, only four still have their dad, the four still with us is probably due to the fact that these men became fathers in their early twenties. Some of the fathers died years ago, most (like me) have lost their father in the last ten years. Compare that to moms, out of 32 only two classmates lost their mother and oddly enough one of those classmates died as well, she was the first to die. Stop.... don't feel sad... I'm just thinking about life... I'm not feeling down.
We can't predict how life will work out so there is no point in worrying too much about it. Take my friend's father for example, the interesting thing about him is that amongst all my classmates fathers, my good friend's dad was the oldest, he had children very late in life and yet he outlived most of the other dads. That's why I feel we shouldn't be sad, he had a good life, he was almost ninety, he was driving, active, mentally alert and basically healthy until this winter, plus he got to die at home like he wanted to do, anything more than that is extra icing on the cake.
Monday, May 7, 2018
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You have a very different experience than I what I have had. There were about 60 kids in my grade school class divided among two classes and over 400 in my grade in high school. I don’t keep in touch with any of them, nor do I care to. I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, which, is probably a lot different from where you are.
Passing Away at home is the optimum, not a Nursing home or rehab facilty, but one's own bed.
My own parents have always been very philosophical about life and death. I’m grateful for that because it’s rubbed off on me.
I never fear death, and as hard as it is, death and passing shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing. We can not surrender to more tears. We leap into grief as if we have embraced it as a form of recreation. We are not what we have lost, we are not what has been taken from us. We are all to willing to embrace the void. If we do not cherish what remains we will all be as nothing. We are not broken, we are each as whole as we will ever be again...we need to celebrate that loved one with stories and memories.
I had 34 in my grade all the way to high school. The difference with me is that I moved away when I got a teaching job in Virginia. My dad died almost 30 years ago, I was one of the first to become a member of the club.
RJ, yes I know my experience is unique these days. Most of the kids I went to school with, had parents that went to school with my parents and their parents before them knew each other in some way. By the time I was finished school in my area, there were only 45 kids in the entire high school! I went on to complete high school in the city where there were 66 kids in my grade alone. It wasn't a shock to me, I loved it and both situations had good points and bad points to them.
Tommy, yes I agree. When my dad was dying, we felt that we could take better care of him so we brought him home to die. He was generation number three on this farm, he was born here and he died here, that is something unique.
JP, with a large family it seemed like we were going to a funeral every second week. I think however living in the country gives you a closer view of what it really is.
Maddie, yes stories and good memories, anything else is wasted energy on that person's life. I tell people however, you don't get over losing someone you loved, you just get used to it.
Michael, that's the thing about life, by the time one boy started school, his father had already died, he was in his forties, compared to my friend's dad going this week. My grandmother made it to 100 and yet she outlived four of her children. Life is a lottery I sometimes think, you either get a winning number or your number is up.
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