Tuesday, March 8, 2016

So Long, farewell, auf weidersehen

Lost & found
I never really got to say goodbye to
my father. A victim of Alzheimer's
disease, he died eighteen years post
his initial diagnosis. For years we
watched him slowly fade away. Day
by day losing more and more of who
he was long before he ever exited the
premises. That said, I got to say "hello"
to Dad post his departure. Suddenly
a flood of memories reconnecting me
with my real father replaced the empty
shell that we'd been taking care of for
years. Hence his death wrought love.
Full circle
Losing someone you love is never
a pleasant experience. Yet I've come
to find that at least for me, it's easier
than expected. Well, at least in the
case of the elderly. Frank's Mother
was such a positive force in all of
our lives. And that caring didn't stop
up to the very end of her time here on
earth. As we all stood vigil over her
at our local Hospice House, she made
sure each of us felt loved up to almost
her final moments. Thus as always,
Pearl was giving till her last breath.
Here today...
Having never lost someone dear to me
at a young age or suddenly, I've no idea
what that's like. However I've watched
friends and family devastated by such
and experience from afar. Rather than
slowly transition down an exit strategy,
one's beloved has been instantaneously
snatched away in the prime of life. And
in one moment everything changes for
those left behind. In a state of shock they
wander through the wreckage of their
lives attempting to survive. Made all the
worse because they never said goodbye.

End game
As human beings mortality is inevitable.
Yet each of us struggles with the loss of
someone we love. Part of that struggle
may be due to the fact that said events
remind us that all too soon we might be
gone also. Given our stay here on earth
is temporary, most of us can't help but
struggle with that reality. All that is
deem important, everything we acquire,
and even our accomplishments rarely
outlive the individual. Hence we ask -
will anything we do matter in the end?
Or will we be forgotten like the rest?

Goodbye girl
Today is Pearl Valach's funeral. She was
a wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and
friend to many. Having lived almost all
of her life here in Lewistown her sphere
of influence was in theory rather limited.
And yet, many from across the country
are gathering this morning to honor her
life and legacy.  Her formula for success
was simple - love, kindness, respect, and
dignity. All which are proof that how we
spend our time here on earth has lasting
value. Any one can make a difference.
They simply have to do their best...
Left behind
Farewells are never easy. Yet it's rare that
in the process of leaving another we don't
gained something. What is your legacy?
Chances are it's mostly the impact you've
had on those closest to you. Certainly it's
grand to have some edifice named in your
honor. However each memory is a gift to
those we leave behind. For most of us our
history is filled with good and bad times.
However ultimately, the amalgam of our
good intentions far outweighs any mistakes.
And so every hug, laugh, kiss, or tear adds
up to a testament. Proof that we were here.