The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky, and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman, and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE TWO HUNDRED THIRTEEN – MOST ARE BORN TO LOSE
“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
I talk about it a lot.
It’s because I think about it a lot. A LOT!
I’ve had my share of death in my life. More than some. Less than others.
But I’ve had my share, regardless.
I remember my grandparents, both sides. One side I was closer to, the other I wasn’t.
The first time I saw a dead body was when I was little, and my mom’s father passed away. I saw him in the casket and heard people crying. Yet, I wasn’t close to him. To be honest, he had scared me when he was alive. He yelled at me once, really yelled at me, for feeding his chickens too much. Looking back now, I get it. But there wasn’t any kindness when he corrected me. It was a vocal blunt-force trauma.
So, when I saw him dead, it didn’t affect me. But I do remember how he looked. He seemed calm and asleep. It was a look I never saw on his face when he was alive.
Then my mom’s mother died. I wasn’t there for that.
And I wasn’t there for my father’s parents’ deaths. Though I felt I was closer to them, I was at that age where I didn’t want to do such a thing as go to a funeral. I couldn’t be bothered. I say this with a ton of regret. This is something I wish I could change.
But other than that, and an acquaintance or two, death wasn’t too close to home.
That’s a lie. Death is death, and if your heart is given to someone or something, their/its passing causes you sadness. Pets came and went, tears were shed. Some more than others.
The older you get, you say hello less and goodbye more.
When I reached April 11th, 2009, I said goodbye to my first significant loss – my mother.
She had been in hospice and we all knew it was coming. We all tried to prepare ourselves and best as we could. But, when the time came, it was still almost too difficult to deal with. I’m an emotional person, even as a young child, and I did my best to nod my head when someone expressed their condolence to me or give me a hug. But, inside, it was turmoil. It wrecked me. I lost my mind to a point.
And because of her passing, I started to look at my life with a microscope. How much time did I have left? Had I done things that I wanted to do? Would people remember me when my time had come?
I started doing something that I had done most of my life that I wanted to be a bigger part of me: writing. I started to write stories, and a few years after my mom passed, I started to write this blog.
Then, ten years later, in 2019, my hero passed – my dad. If you read my blog, you know this. If you know me, you know this. Again, we knew it was coming. That’s the thing with someone who gets dementia and had medical issues: you know it’s coming.
So, when September 3rd of 2019 came and I got the word that my dad has taken his last breath and gone onto where we go when that happens, the grief devoured me for the inside out. You can’t be out of work long enough to get over a death like his (I talked about this in a previous blog post called Three Days).
I had some very close family members that helped keep me from feeling too alone and too far gone. I’m so thankful for them for being there, not just there in person but for sending me positivity into the universe (yes, I believe that’s possible).
And, then, I had a thought that helped keep me from traveling further down that dark tunnel of overwhelming depression. That thought allowed me to have some hope.
I still had life, and there was something that I wanted to do before I joined my parents, grandparents, friends, loved pets that I shared my life with, in the great beyond.
I think we all have something we want to do (we all should). Unfortunately, some people are too scared or lack patience or think whatever it is isn’t worth the effort.
Let me say loud and clear – IT IS WORTH IT!
Since my dad left this world, I try and remember that I woke up and took a breath. It’s still not too late to do what I want to do. And I need to put the wheel to the road, the nose to the grindstone, taking that first step (pick your own analogy).
Pro: Time is still ticking for me.
Con: Time is still ticking for me.
It won’t stop and it won’t pause for me (or you) to keep putting whatever it is off until tomorrow.
Tomorrow may not come.
There is a quote that I repeat to myself from time to time. I’m not sure if I heard it or read it somewhere or I just made it up from a box full of advice.
I’d rather live with an I tried than an I should have.
There’s worse advice, for sure.
If you’re reading this, you woke up this morning, you took a breath (more than one, actually), and you still have time.
But not a lot.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
March 4th, 2022
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else, but it might help me.