Some thoughts on life and death

June 22, 2008 Uncategorized 3

No one likes to think about death, even knowing it’s an inevitable event in every living beings life. I believe I am a realist, I know I’ll die one day, that all those around me that I love and know will pass, but I often don’t understand the timing of a person’s death. As a Christian, I believe in God, and I have faith that there is some ultimate reason or answer to why a person dies before what I would describe as their “time”.

I woman I only casually know from our church passed away Thursday night. She was always nice to me, she always complimented my children, and said hello, and she went so far as to help me get my foot in the door at our high school to volunteer when my girls were moving from our Parish school to the public high school. She had battled cancer about 15 years ago, and it had returned, and even a year ago, she knew her time was limited here. A friend of hers told me one of her dreams was to see her youngest graduate from high school, and she accomplished that late last month. I’m sad that at age 55 she is no longer with us. She will not see her grandchildren, or her children all grown and independent. She won’t share that mature retirement time with her husband of 28 years. Her last advice to my friend was to enjoy her children, and not try to make everything perfect, she’d wasted too much time trying to do that herself.

I’m in the classic sandwich generation, raising my children, and facing the realities of my aging parents. My father is 83, my mom is 80. Until 3 years ago they were very healthy and nothing much slowed them down. Now both of their eye sight is failing, they are growing closer to not being able to live independently in the home they built 16 years ago in a town they found and fell in love with. I am the youngest of their four children, so I tread lightly with my advice, and try to be supportive and loving when I talk to them. I am sure we will all reach the same destination, my parents my sibs and I, in our plans for their future, but it may not be at the pace some of would like. Their lives have been full and wonderful, but I will mourn them no less when they are no longer a phone call away.

3 Responses to “Some thoughts on life and death”

  1. Beth

    I hear ya… I look at death a bit differently…having lost my dad when I was only 15… I didn’t get to see him in the more relaxed time of parents life…it is hard whenever even when “expected”

  2. Anonymous

    Kicking off “Sandwich Generation Month,” the results of a new Harris Poll commissioned by Presto Services Inc. and Christian Companion Senior Care show that of the 20 million U.S. “Sandwichers”—those struggling with the responsibilities of caring for their children and their aging parents:
    • 53% feel forced to choose between neglecting either their parents’ needs or their kids’ needs at least ONCE EACH WEEK.
    • 20% of Sandwichers make this stressful decision EVERY DAY.
    • 40% believe their parents did a better job of balancing multi-generational caregiving than they do.
    Two companies offering some practical help to ease caregiving stress and improve communication with aging parents:
    • Presto—which couples an HP Printing Mailbox and Presto Mail service—enables family members to send email messages, family photos and notes of encouragement as well as daily reminders, medical instructions and more to seniors who aren’t online—saving time and easing the stress of caregiving.
    • Christian Companion Senior Care is the first organization to offer practical in-home assistance and spiritual encouragement, making it possible for seniors to remain in their own homes and live independently.
    It would be intersting to see what your blog readers thinks that would help them manage multi-generational caregiving responsibilities – a) flex hours at work, b) an understanding spouse, c) help from an outside source, d) technology advances.

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