dealing with death
I firmly believe that bringing levity and shining a light on any tragic topic helps alleviate the fear and horror of it all. However, it wasn't until a couple of years ago when my beloved mother and kindred spirit unexpectedly passed away that I truly took up a near-permanent residence on the dark side of humour.
Because dealing with death is hard, no matter what age.
I have a friend who is currently going through the type of health-related family anguish you should never know... but given
The grief is still there. But suddenly, from somewhere, almost eighteen months later, I do now occasionally experience the unadulterated joy that I never thought I would again. To my surprise, I am no longer numb. The flowers in the park, a small child patting my dog, the flight of a bird, planning a visit with my grandson with his friends -- these things bring a lift to my heart.
Most of us have the desire to end our days in the comfort of our own homes, but the reality is that more often than not, we will spend our last days in hospital or in a nursing home on palliative care. With this type of care, the only medical intervention provided is purely for comfort and pain relief. But palliative care doesn't end with the patient; it extends to their family, and the entire process of accepting what will be a peaceful, dignified death.
For almost four decades, I did not talk about the plane crash. Instead, I buried the tragedy and any associated feelings of grief as deep down as possible. That was the way tragedies and death were dealt with in the 70s. I was told, directly and indirectly, that the subject was closed, never to be discussed... the subject of death was unmentionable.
Not knowing how to handle the subject of death and grief, people around us thought it best to never talk about it. They wanted to spare us from more pain and prevent the stirring of feelings. Family pictures were put away, my mother's and sisters' personal items were cleared out of our house and we were expected to move on and reconstruct our world as if nothing had happened.