September 21, 2011


     I was sitting in my backyard, the temperatures surprisingly nice given the brutal and record breaking summer we had.  I had spent the Saturday morning studying, had lunch and then mowed the yard.  Nothing to do now but relax with satisfaction of a good day.  Drink a beer, observe the butterflies, and periodically move the sprinkler.  It was good.  But then out of nowhere, unheralded and unanticipated, came the image of my brother.  This was not reminiscing about good memories.  This was the dirty and difficult process of dying.  All the images, all the emotions, all the decisions, all the struggles.  It's like they were yesterday.  The waves keep coming over me again and again.  I'm at a loss of what to do so I write.

1 comment:

Joules said...

I was alone in the room with my grandma in the last 20 minutes of her life as she died from a blood clot that she chose to face at home, without medical assistance. This was about 18 months ago. She was 89 years old, very mentally sharp, and a former medical records supervisor so she was fairly aware of the consequences of that choice. I know she could not have anticipated how it would feel toward the end. It's not the same as when a younger person succumbs to a disease. I wish you and your family had not had to go through that.

I've only done it the one time, but it is powerful and almost unreal to be with someone as their body labors and finally shuts down. It reminded me of when I gave birth to my three children. It seemed like Grandma was giving birth to her eternal life. We are Christians so we believe that absent from the body is present with the Lord.

From what I hear and have experienced, the powerful memories from an event like that, etched into the brain, will often return unexpectedly. I've had similar experiences to what you describe, almost a flashback but not quite. I think it's good that you write. I do different things--talk to her out loud, write, go over favorite memories, or tell myself why I'm grateful for having known Grandma. I assume there will be some kind of change in the experience of loss as time goes by.

I appreciate your post.