How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

Greetings and salutations to all who deem this worthy of your time...

Brought up Oct 2, 2012

She Will Always Be Young...

One of the hardest things we face, I think, is the loss of a loved one, especially a parent or child. Losing one at a young age, people expect the family's grief to be great. A life not quite lived is gone. When we lose an older loved one, we are told they are at peace now. They are with God. Their pain has ended. Don't you, just once, want to scream, "I don't give a damn! I wasn't ready to let go yet?" All the platitudes, all the kind words may make us feel a little better, but not much.

I watched my best friend and her family bury their mother today. They lost their father last year. It doesn't matter how old they are nor their parents' ages. Those four, five counting their nephew their parents raised, were like little orphaned children. They were so grief stricken, so lost, it broke my heart. I loved their mom so very much, but I know my pain is at least 100 times less than theirs is.

Steel Magnolias is one of my all time favorite movies. I have probably watched it 50 times if I've watched it once. One of my favorite scenes is in the cemetery after the family has just laid their child to rest. The mom's grief is so naked, it's almost unbearable. Her friends try to comfort her the only way they know how. They comment on the service, the flowers, how she stayed by her child's bed as she died. One pipe's up. "We should all be rejoicing... She is with her King." The mother's reaction is exactly like mine would be. "...I'd rather have her here." My title tonight comes from the friend's reply to this. After, the mom breaks down, screaming "I want to know why!" As I said before, I don't think age makes much difference when we lose a loved one. I know, each of my friend Jody's children were thinking that same thing at some point today. I know I did. Why did it have to be one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving and generous souls I have ever met that had to suffer and die before any of us was ready to see her go? All the kind words in the world can not ease that pain. It's too raw, to new, and too deep a pain for words to ease.

In my mind's eye, my friend Jody is still the young, beautiful mom I knew as a child. I still hear her laugh, I still hear her voice. Her eyes are in the faces of her children, grand children and great grand children. Her smile is stamped there. I see their father in them as well. His talented, sweet voice echoes in his sons and grandson. His sense of humor does as well. They both live on there in those precious souls I call friends, but love like family.

I did find a small comfort today. I felt ill at ease with my friends, and left their mom's house earlier than I planned. As my dear, darling friend hugged me, she told me to go visit my mom. My mom was released today after her surgery yesterday. She is in pain, but was up and about when I left. I did what my friend said. I had planned to anyway, but, the look on my friend's sweet face is burned in my mind. My mom is gone, it said, but yours isn't. She's right, but I know, someday, and sooner than I will ever be ready for, I will wear that same look, and feel that same way.

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