Tag Archives: death
Before I really settle into this subject, let me lay the groundwork…dig up the grass, pitch aside the rock and gravel, rake out the large chunks of dirt, and smooth out the surface, if you will. I think…indeed, perhaps even know, that a backdrop must be in place, in order to have a finished painting.
At the ripe old age of 49 yrs. old, my experience with death has been limited. In fact, it has been pretty much non-existent. Certainly, I have known people who have died but by the time it had occurred, they were no longer a part of my life. Either some quarrel or issue had ended our connection or time had simply allowed us to drift apart. Thus when the moment of their death occurred, the impact upon me emotion-wise and otherwise, had been minimal. Not trying to take away anything from their deaths or the loss of them. Just stating something that I believe should be fairly obvious to most who read this. That the death of someone, who you were close to at the time of departure, is going to have more impact upon you.
I also believe I need to make clear that I never really got, how or why people made such a big deal over the death, of an animal…a pet. I always thought that it was not the same as a human being dying and I guess technically it is not the same. However, there are certain aspects of it, I now have begun to grasp. When you spend a lot of time with a pet they become, in your mind and heart, an integral part of the family. While the memories and communications may be different, than that of humans, they certainly do exist and become part of who we are. The recent death of my pet taught me just how much this is true. When you spend everyday with any living creature, they become more a part of your life, than most humans ever do.
Thus when death comes calling he does not come alone and he does not leave until you fully realize what you are supposed to from it. Death may not arrive with a trumpet sound or a loud clash. He may appear as a dark figure in the distance. But no matter how he arrives, he brings depression with him. Depression arrives in the same manner as death. Either quick and sudden or slowly creeping in. Just the idea of someone close to you dying brings forth this friend. He is like a leech. He will suck you dry as long as you allow him to, and to a degree, you must allow him to do so. You must allow him to play his part, for it is the role he was cast in and therefore, he must do his part and you must do yours. You must accept it and then you can begin to work on eliminating him. For all roles, come to their conclusions and so it is the same, with depression.
Then comes the moment that death actually does his job. He takes the being, human or otherwise, out of this world and shows them the path to the afterlife. When he does this he calls in his other friend. That friend is named Guilt. Guilt will arrive in some form or fashion, no matter how much or little you had to do, with the death. Guilt arrives because he also has his role to play. His role is to make you think. He is kinda sneaky in that, you often do not see him coming. But he whispers to you, when your mind is quiet. He wants you to think about it because he knows if you do not, then you will never be able to move forward. He makes you play the blame game. He makes you think about every little thing you did before the death. He makes you question everything. He does this because, he knows you need to at some point come to terms with what happened, and your part to play in it. He wants you to realize that each of us has a part to play in each other’s lives and deaths. It was this last thing, I did not get at first.
I only saw my guilt. The actions I had taken, the decisions I had made. I questioned whether there was something I could of done differently to have prevented it. Of course, if anyone looks at those type of things they are going think that maybe they made mistakes. Maybe they did things wrong. Maybe they acted wrong to the situation. They are going to question every action and every decision, and in the end they are going to realize, that it is possible that they made some errors. Of course, they are going to see this. We all do. We make errors because we are human. It is a part of who we are and one of the main reasons we are here in the first place. Certainly nobody can dispute the fact, that a major reason for us being here, is to learn and grow. Learning requires error. Let me say that again because it is that important. True learning requires us to make errors. Understanding this basic fact is what guilt was trying to show us. That no matter how much our involvement, we cannot accept all the blame because we are human, and do make mistakes. It is a part of our nature.
When guilt has finally opened your eyes to these facts, then the last friend of death makes their arrival. This friend is named Acceptance. Acceptance tells you that we all play our roles, for good or for bad, but ultimately it is never really completely within our own hands. We cannot control what is without, we can only control what is within. We cannot make the world do what we want, we can only make ourselves, do what we want. Even serial killers do not completely control things as much as they think they do. Do they decide who is placed in front of them to become their next victim? Certainly not! Do they decide ultimately who will die? They might think they do but they have no control over whether there is ever going to be the opportunity. Nobody can control others or the environment around them. In the end, only fate gets to decide who or what, lives and dies and when. Once you understand this fact, then accepting what has happened, can occur. It should be noted acceptance does not mean that guilt nor depression have left. Acceptance only opens the door for them to leave.
It is you, who must decide when the time has come, to move on. It is you, who must make them leave. For all three of the friends of death reside within you, and are within your circle of control.
While my time has not come to send away death’s friends, I hope that this little writing helps others, and maybe by chance, it may even help me.
Wow! When it rains in fucking pours. First we lose 2/3 of our income tax return this year(for poor people that means $1800), then I lose my doctor because I am too damn rich(what a joke, really) and now the only damn thing in the entire fucking world that I care for, nearly as much as my wife, comes down with UTI.
I cannot afford to take my cat to vet though to get a proper diagnosis and therefore the proper antibiotics for him. Hell, if I just lost my doctor and cannot afford to go see one, how can I take my cat?(As an aside, I learned he had UTI by researching his symptoms on the internet and he certainly has the symptoms.)
Thus I only two options. Either abandon my pet at a shelter or have him put down. Either way, I lose the only thing, besides my wife, that has loved me the last 8 years. My heart is broken. Tears are filling my eyes and I can no longer see clearly to type.
My father-in-law died on Tuesday(April 9th, 2013). Many emotions have sliced their way through me during these last few days. So many, in fact, that I have been reluctant to post about it until now. If you are going to make a public statement about a life event, then you should at least have an idea of how you really feel about it. Furthermore, you want to do the subject justice.
Me and George, met shortly after I and his daughter began to get serious, in our relationship. He readily accepted me and he never wavered from that position. He was one of the few, of my wife’s family, who did so. He showed me on many occasions that he was happy to have me as part of his family. He actually came by to visit us and often invited us to go do things together. Never once did he show me an ounce of disrespect. In fact, at one point he even stated that I could call him Dad if I so desired. The way he treated me, was completely the opposite from most of my wife’s family, and in him, I found a person of honor, kindness, wisdom, and understanding.
During that last years of his life, Alzheimer’s laid claim on him, however, due to a falling out with the rest of my wife’s family, we were unable to visit him. This is where the mixed emotions came in. Of course, like any other human being, I was deeply saddened by the loss but I was also angered that other family members were so filled with pride, that they could not reconcile differences, in order to allow for us to visit George before he died. This not only made the loss that much greater but it turned what was a temporary rift into a permanent one. This was not something you could take back or fix with an “I’m sorry”. None of those things would bring George back and allow us the opportunity to say goodbye. There is simply no way to justify this course of action and no remedy for it. I once thought, that everything was forgivable, but now I see there are some things, permanent things, that cannot be.
This only, in the end, adds yet another layer of sadness upon what was already a deeply saddening situation. For not only is George lost to us, but now the family members responsible for this outcome, are also permanently lost too. It was this fact alone that left me stunned for days. I simply could not accept that any human being would do something this hurtful to their own family. Coming to terms with it, accepting it, really does not do anything for me. I just leaves me cold.
I guess the only thing I can do at this point is try to focus on the great memories we shared and move on.
George, I hope wherever you are, you find some decent people, who are worthy of what you have to give. I also hope, that we shall once more see each other, when my path upon this earth ends. Take care, and thank you for being the dad I never really had.
RIP George H Schacherl (1/28/30-4/9/13)
There is a moment when people enter our lives and a moment when they leave. No matter what takes place in between those moments, there is always an indelible imprint left behind. An imprint that changes us. An imprint that redifnes who we are and what we are about. Many times that imprint is barely noticible, however, sometimes that imprint becomes a focal point of our lives.
To my mind, it seems as if every little encounter should mean more, affect us more, than they often do. Is not each one worthy of the same kind of notice and consideration? The obvious answer is yes but that is not how the mind works…not a reality. Some things just are.
Perhaps it is just a product of these modern times. Too many people walking in and out of our lives. Too many things all happening at once. The mind gets entangled by the worries and concerns of the day. We get lost in the tide of life and forget about what is important. We lose sight of what matters most. They become ghosts that eventually fade away into the night.
When this happens we realize too late. Our eyes are opened; our mind widened to the error of our ways. We see what we missed and we feel sorrow. When they leave us and the loss is permanent, the sorrow is only compounded more. In this lucidity, we completely see just who we really are. We see our humanity and all of its deepest flaws. We find the monster that is us and we recoil.
Today, I have seen mine. Today, I have lucidity. Today, I have seen my flaws, my monster, my humanity, or what little there is of it. Today is too late. Today, they are gone; they did pass from this world. Today I recoil and feel sorrow.
There is no take-backs. There is no fixing. Nothing that I can do now. I can only hope that their loved ones find peace of mind, in some form, and that I can forgive myself. I can only hope that what comes next is better than here. I can only hope that I do not allow myself to forget what I have learned from this.