Trying to escape

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The last couple days have been particularly difficult as we approach what would have been Bernadette’s 7th birthday this Sunday.  She was looking forward to a party this year, her first official party with friends.  Generally we have them when the kids turn 5, 10, and 15, but Bernadette didn’t have one when she turned 5 because she was just too shy to have a party and be the center of attention.  I had the bright idea to wait until she was seven to give her a couple more years to mature and it seemed the right time with Catherine having her second party a month later when she turned 10.  The girls would have so much fun planning their parties together.  Again a case of “If we’d only known”.  If we’d only known we would have given her a party much sooner.

We don’t want Bernadette’s birthday to go by like any other day as if it weren’t special to us yet when Marc asks me how I’d like to mark the day the only response he gets is tears, tears, and more tears.  I doubt he’ll get a straight answer out of me all week.  Poor guy.  I must drive him nuts.

I made the mistake (I’m getting so good at that!!!) of trying to escape this new reality by reading a book by one of my favorite authors only to have it bring Bernadette to the forefront of my mind constantly, mainly because it was one of those kinds of books where everyone was either getting killed or trying to kill someone else or trying to not get killed.  This author’s books don’t generally have that much killing in them, or so I thought,  so I was disappointed.  Also in this story a family member dies and the main character feels guilt for neglecting the person for years.  As I was reading it I couldn’t help but notice my own reaction.  Instead of glossing over the mention of a deceased person and moving on with the story, I couldn’t stop thinking of them as real people, or thinking of Bernadette.   The attitude of most of the characters was that human life was so expendable and only their own life mattered.   I know it’s silly but to me the people they were killing were real people with feelings, hopes, dreams, and loved ones and their lives were brutally cut short.  I know they were all fiction characters, but I just didn’t appreciate reading about death like it was nothing.  It’s not nothing, it’s shattering.   Death is not entertaining, it’s real and it’s devastating to those left behind.  I suspect I’ll never be able to watch a movie or read a book with death in it the way I use to.   Experiences really do change us in ways we don’t expect.

Just the other day my dear friend, Jean, sent me an article she’d written and although I’m going to take her words out of context, (only because it would be too hard to explain them without printing the entire article,) there were a few lines that really jumped out at me and describe perfectly where I find myself these days:   “This is where our control is gone and our dreams are shattered. This is where the unexpected completely changes everything we thought we knew. This is where our comfort zones suddenly no longer exist. This is where everything that always made sense suddenly no longer makes any sense at all.”    Its not an easy place to be.

COMMENTS


By The Kurz’s
I may not know how it feels to be going through what you are going through but I completely agree that today’s world really does seem to make death a sort of entertainment piece. I’ve been bothered by it for years. Most of us are so desensitized by it. But then there are those who are still in touch with how significant it really is. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you catch yourself thinking about death everyday from the daily things you do that remind you of it.
May today’s sunshine warm your soul.

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