Monday, June 9, 2014

Not a Happy Post

I woke up to some unexpected news this morning. My best friends' father passed away over the weekend. I've known these two since the 8th grade in Catholic school, when we had to wear those stupid uniforms with plaid skirts and synthetic-fiber vests and knee socks with ugly shoes.

It made me aware that there is a growing number of my schoolmates who are now part of the "one surviving parent" club.

This is the part where we watch our parents die.

My mom died 6 years ago this July. And I think there are times when the tragedy of her life is still too much for me to think about.

I wore a piece of her jewelry today, a quartz crystal wrapped in wire and hung from a chain. It gave me a small comfort, a connection, a tiny bit of hope.

And I feel completely helpless as I sit and watch my schoolmates and friends go through the same thing. Our parents are growing old and leaving us.

It's the normal order of things, of course, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Some of us will have to deal with estates, nursing homes, assisted living, hospice, attorneys... Because that's just how things work.

So as we sit and keep watch through these life transitions, I wonder: in our 40-odd years on this planet, what have we learned? Have we learned anything at all, really?

What are we doing for our kids? What are we leaving for them?

What kind of experience are they going to have when it's their turn to watch us die?

I can't say that I've known this all along, but what I know to be true tonight is that all we have is this moment.

This breath.

These eyes.

This soul.

And nothing else...none of it...really matters, anyway. All that we have, truly, is this.


And I was lucky enough tonight to have a safe place to go to sit with all of this that was swirling through the chaos of my mind, a place where I could go and let the tears come along with the fear and the other hard stuff. I had a place where I could go and just let it all go.

We identify so much with our parents. We feel as though they will be there forever, because they have been there forever, right? So when they just suddenly...disappear...what's left?

Just this.


  1. I feel you. I lost my Dad 4 years ago and it is still a struggle sometimes to come to terms with it, even today. I hope this pain you are feeling eases away to that place were lingering memories are fond and nostalgic, and the pain a distant memory. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend with the loss.

  2. Very sorry for this loss. It's tough to wrap our heads around these losses and to realize that it's time to "be here now" as Ram Dass has encouraged for many years. Yes. It's hard.

  3. It does rock us to the core. Being an "orphan" now with both my parents gone makes some days hard. You do have to make sure to live in the now and make sure those around you know that you love them. Learn to let some of the little annoyances go so the ones who are left behind know you loved them and know they were special to you.

  4. Always when you are having a sad moment try to live in the here and now as Kristen said, and also if you have a family member who is no longer living but who was wonderful and whom you love without issues, think of that ancestor as your guardian if you like, and feel the happiness of those memories give you strength. all love, jean

  5. Beautifully expressed, thank you ♡

  6. True words...true words. My Father died when I was 36. It was so hard to cope with the loss. I struggled trying to find out if he had been happy. It obsessed me. I asked people, relatives, coworkers about what he said, how he acted, if he were happy. Then I realized I was worried about myself. Was I happy? Was I going to be happy? And I realized I needed to find something to DO. It was art that saved me. It makes me happy. I will always make me happy. It has been 24years now since he died. I miss him still and always, but his death made me wake up and find meaning in my life.