26 October 2015

Goodbye is never easy

Unfortunately I am not one of the first of my friends to lose a parent.  Looking in retrospect of this past week, I definitely think that having a dying parent is infinitely harder than a parent dying.  I have seen friends struggle to make life work with a parent who is battling illness and in their last moments of life.  I think it's harder.  It's harder to live every day with death hanging over your head and feeling some sort of loss in your heart but yet still seeing them there before you.  Knowing that they are in pain or that they are at the point of wanting to die is something I cannot imagine seeing.  The relief that comes after they finally pass and then the subsequent guilt for having said relief.  It's a never ending circle.  Grief becomes a part of their day, every day and eventually that is all they are able to feel.  It seems as though it would be overwhelming to have death as the principal focus of life every day.  The act of dying takes away from living. 

People keep asking me how I am doing with the signature look of empathy and head tilt and I in a way feel guilty for saying that I'm doing ok.  I mean even if I was struggling, I would be hestitant to allow people to see that side.  But I honestly feel as though he is with me still.  I talked a lot about it with mom today - how I feel like dad going in this way was such a blessing. There was always a part of me that worried when dementia would hit him and if he would slip away gradually like Gram did.  There is no way that I could have handled that.  I am happy that he had a great last day with those that he loves and went to sleep happy.  I feel at peace with the way that he went and how we said goodbye. It is comforting to know that every day he was on this earth he was living - not waiting to die.  This quote sums up what I am feeling in that it doesn't mean that there is no grief or pain in my heart but it is calm there also.  

I've spent so much time on my yoga mat this month because of the 30 day challenge which makes me thankful for that time to connect to myself and be present.  That amongst the turmoil in life, those hours where I am on my mat I am able to manifest peace in my soul.  It is like the quote says in the midst of trouble or noise, peace is being able to be calm within yourself, within your heart.  After another visit with a dear friend this evening, I am reminded again of the power of sending positive thoughts and love to people. She was away last week and unable to attend dad's funeral.  It was nice to connect to her and share that I could feel her love sent to me over the miles. It is amazing to feel support of those who care for you even when they cannot be at your side.  Knowing that someone else I care about is struggling with the impending loss of his mother I will do my best to keep them in my prayers in hopes to carry them through this.  It's ironic how I am not good at all at letting people take care of me and yet as soon as I hear that someone is struggling, the first thing I want to do is scoop them into my arms and hug them.  And then, I want to make them cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies.  

So I wonder what to take away from all this - because the struggle of dying is real and the feeling of grief sometimes over powering but life has to keep going.  I have to believe that making the conscious choice to find peace and make connections to other people are the only ways to moving forward. I will continue to take the time to get to my mat each day and I will send my practice to A's family as well as my own - hoping that peace can be with all of us. I'm going to make sure to send up some extra love to all my friends who have lost a parent for them to continue to be at peace. And now I'm going to make cookies because cookies make everything better. 

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