I think my dad and brother were not just father and son. I think they became friends as well. Today we can’t gather around my dad and hope to make this day a little less painful. He is in Hawaii with my mom and one of my sisters. So I wish for the breezes to kiss his cheek, the waves to embrace him, and the turtles to protect him.
02 Jun 2011 3 Comments
by grumpybutterfly in Uncategorized Tags: attention, brother, crying, death, death with dignity, disabilities, disability, disease, emotions, family, feelings, giving, good-bye, Health, love, mom, MSA, Shy-Drager Syndrome, tears
We plan the most important decisions, days and events of our life. Or at least we try to. Some plan how many children to have, and when to have them. Most plan their weddings and if you are a woman (and some men), you probably started planning it in elementary school (I know I did, even had a folder I kept till my mid 20′s). If we are lucky we get to plan what job we have and when to move on to the next job, or when to retire. We plan out where we live as best we can.
There are some decisions I can make very fast…but I can take an hour to pick out a name for a character I create in an on-line game me and my husband play. It took me three hours to pick out my eye glasses, three years to pick out curtains, and 10 years to pick a color to paint my walls (I have only managed to decide on the bathroom so far). If you think I am joking, then you haven’t met me or been shopping with me for glasses or paint. The curtains I blame on my husband…he insisted on very thick, functional curtains and I wanted pretty flowery ones. What did we settle on? Sage green with tassels.
If we spend time planning other parts of our lives, why is it so strange to plan the last important decision of our life? (disclaimer…only with regards to death with dignity, of course)
After trying to accommodate us by avoiding birthdays, looking at travel plans and school schedules, my brother picked his day and the planning began. Yet, it was surreal, planning his last day with us and the celebration of his life. We grieved while we talked casually with him and each other about food, preparations, programs, music. He did not want a service but I and others told him the service was for those left behind, not for him. We needed this for each other. As strange as our conversations felt, looked, and sounded, for me it gave me a sense normalcy, just planning any other family event, right? Though there were times it was awkward and I would think,
“Am I really talking to my brother about his death?”
“Did I just ask my mom to bring her paper plates to my brother’s last dinner? I am thinking of being green at a time like this?”
“Am I really using a toothpick to scrape the medicine out of the capsules for my brother’s last drink?”
But, by planning for his death we were able to give his life the attention he deserved. Probably over 100 people visited him in the last week, and he received many, many letters. People were able to tell him how he impacted them, share stories and laugh. If he had doubts at all that his life had meaning, those doubts should have been washed away by the downpour of love, gratitude, and kindness from those he touched.
How wonderful is that?