November 18, 2008

When Do You Start Mourning

One of the benefits to reaching a certain age is that you start to gain a fair amount of life experience. You have been around the block a time or two and so you find that some situations have presented themselves a time or two.

As a father I have been blessed to see the birth of my children. As a grandson I have had to say goodbye to some of my grandparents. And as a friend I have had the sad task to watch some dear friends pass away far too early.

And I have also had the chance to witness the grief and struggles of other friends/family members as they have said goodbye to their parents. It is not an easy thing. I am not sure if we are ever really prepared to let mom and dad go. No matter how independent you are there is something very comforting in knowing that they are still around.

When my parents purchased their plots I was a little weirded out. I appreciated their pre-planning and their efforts to make a hard time easier, but it was still strange. G-d willing when I am 130 and their pushing 155 I'll have to call the cemetery to make sure that they haven't sold their spots.

I suppose that you could say that the birth of this post is rooted in recent experiences in which people around me have begun to prepare for the death of a loved one. It is a hard thing to watch, the grief and pain of someone else. I can't take it from them. Can't shield them or really even share the pain. It is a very personal thing and it is different for everyone.

But I can offer my shoulder. I can listen and I can say that I think that it is important to celebrate life while you can. One day they will be gone and you'll have plenty of time to think about them. Until that moment comes it is important to try and enjoy what time you can with them.

I am not saying that it is easy or that there is a right way to do this. It is one of those moments in which we all need to find our own way. And I am not trying to say that I understand everything either.

You can call me morbid, but I have thought about my own death. I have spent time thinking about what I want my own funeral to be like. I have spent time thinking about where I want to be buried and I am sure that I will again. I am not who I was at 25 and at 60 I expect that I'll be different from 40.

Not really sure where this is going so I'll try to wrap it up. I suppose that the point is really one that I made earlier. I don't think that you can totally prepare yourself for the loss of a parent. And I think that it is important not to bury someone before they are dead.

Life has plenty of hard moments, no need to take anymore on before you have to.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

No need to rush the eulogy either, but when it is time you can go to Yizkor.com and put up a memorial post about your loved ones, and other people can visit, add their own comments, and even place a "virtual stone".