death and dying II

One of my favorite and most heart breaking SATC episodes to watch and re watch is My Motherboard Myself.  I’m not sure which season it is but it’s the episode in which Carrie’s computer crashes and Miranda’s mother passes away.  It’s such a painful and moving moment at the end of the episode when Miranda is walking down the church aisle alone and starts to break down crying.  She’s looking frantic, sad, and in need of support.  Carrie, from a pew, comes to her side and the two of them walk to the end of the church together hand-in-hand.

My freshman year of high school, my then best friend called me on spring day to inform me that her father passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack.  I remember listening to her tell me the news in shock.  I listened and said the things that you say to a friend so far away in a time of crisis and pain.  When I hung up the phone I ran down the stairs to the floor below to let the other girls who’d attended our high school of the news.  We all cried and when we’d finished I returned to my dorm room and called my father to let him know how much I loved and cared for him.

My mother lost her mom when she was only 25 and I consider myself lucky to be at age 30 and to not only have my mother but to call her my best friend.  On Friday one of my best friends in New York rushed to the bedside of her ailing Father.  Today we talked briefly and my heart absolutely broke into pieces listening to her agonizing pain.  I felt helpless here in New York while she’s so far away.  Her father’s not doing well-the family is praying for a miracle and the possibility is there.

It occurred to me a few months ago, when another high school friend lost her infant child, and then again last week when another friend miscarried, that we’re at the time in our lives when mortality is a very real thing.  It’s become something that happens to you and not just to other people.  The reality of the situation his that as we get older and become the adults that we may or may not be ready to embrace death is a very real fact.  It sounds silly-everyone knows that eventually we all will die.  It just seems, though, that it is becoming more evident-mortality is more evident as we age.  It’s not just that person who we knew back when but my friend’s child died, my friend’s mother died.

It’s always been quite obvious to me that one day my parents will die.  When I think about this time, though, it’s still far off in the distance.  It’s after my wedding, after my first child, after my second child, when they’ve retired and moved to Florida to live out their golden years.  In my mind, they die peacefully in their sleep on the very same night holding one another.  How easy it is to imagine a death like that-in bed with your spouse.  I’m comfortable believing this illusion of death rather than face the fact that one day, any day, they may die and what would I do then?  Death is far from convenient, it doesn’t take into consideration your plans or its timing-it just is.

At 18 I couldn’t imagine losing a parent and now, twelve years later it’s safe to say that I still cannot.  My heart goes out to my friends and their family and my prayers that I find myself subconsciously whispering to the unknown go out to them.


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