For those of you that have experienced DEATH.

So I have experienced death before, but with patients. It is certainly different than when it is a close family member or friend. When my patients died I loved them and cared for them and was honored to be there for them…. but the mortuary came and took them away and then a new patient came in their place, someone for me to love and care for and fill that void…

Not now.

He is gone, just gone.  There is nothing to replace him(not that I would want to anyway) and although we are still caring for my grandmother, it’s not the same. There is a constant emptiness. An eerie hole inside where his voice, his laughter, his presence once filled me. Memories don’t do him justice. He was such a great man, a wonderful father… intermittent memories are insufficient. My son will only have stories of this great man. My daughters will only have pictures of the great grandfather who adored them. There is something so sad and unjust about this.

Yes, my heart aches at this reality. Tears well up in my soul when I come face to face with the silent, empty room. When I look at the tooth brush and razor on the bathroom counter and have to stash it under the sink so Grandma doesn’t see it and cry. When I grab the newspaper at the street and realize, no one will read it now. When I walk down the hall and see the door to his room open, but know that no one is inside. When I see his shoes under the table or his hanker chief by the chair. I find myself sitting in all the places he would sit and conversing with my grandmother about happier times. It makes me feel at peace some how; pretending to be in his place. Maybe I just know that it comforts her, to not look at his empty chair but instead visit with me in it… Maybe i just want to feel closer to him…. I miss him with every part of my being.

But do I cry for his death? No. Someone once told me I was not grieving properly. I believe I have just shared with you my sorrows… my broken heart. Have I poured tears over his death, no. Do I still feel the pain from it, absolutely. I accept the truth of it and know that crying over his death will not bring him back and will only waste time that could be spent honoring his life, honoring his name. I dont need to mourn with overflowing tears to truly grieve and move through the process that comes when having lost a loved one.

Did you cry? Did you spend days, weeks, maybe months… hidden away from the world mourning the loss? I feel strange, like I am alone in my reaction… that everyone is looking at me strangely because yes, I am okay… I am not falling apart, I am not crying every second of the day. We are happy and relieved that he is no longer suffering. We are at peace because death was what he wanted, death was what he prepared for; literally. Why mourn this? We celebrate that he has won. He has achieved all that he set out to achieve and created some lasting imprints on the world in the process.

So many people are asking me what they can do for me… I feel bad thinking I dont need much of anything… Because Eric has been out of work the last month or two we are struggling a bit financially. I trust it will work out in the end and we will make do, within our means of course. God is a wonderful God that has provided for us and kept us safe in ALL of this, I do not believe he would let me down now. Is it wrong of me to think that I could have used the help two weeks ago?? I think to myself, wow… where were all these offers last week when I was struggling with balancing my time between kids, husband, grandma and my sick gandfather. When I was trying to cook meals for 8, administer morphine doses and manage his care…Dont get me wrong, I am SO grateful for everyone’s responses. Their prayers and kind words mean so much to me. I just honestly dont know what we need help with now. It was suggested I let people cook for us anyway and take a break or relax that evening knowing I dont have to deal with it… Ill probably take them up on that offer, but besides that we seem to be Okay. I believe wholeheartedly the only way this is possible right now is because of God.

Im curious, how did you deal with death? Did it take you long to adjust? Did you mourn? Did you feel alone in your own unique way of grieving?? I am curious what your thoughts are… you know mine.

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