Life and Death

I've spent the past few days writing this post because its been something on my heart. So, if it's all over the place, bear with me.

It seems like death has been hanging around these past few weeks. No, not in the way that I know a lot of people dying or anything, but in conversations. It started a couple of weeks ago, when I got into a conversation with a friend about death. We had both lost parents when we were around the same age, but it was obviously, we had both dealt with in very different ways. I've come to learn that I have a very different view of death than most.

In the two years that I've been blogging, it's something I've never talked about, but I lost a parent when I was fourteen. He was my "other dad," Steve. He and my mom married when I was five and I loved him more than anything. Steve and I were close from the beginning and remained close till the day he died. Yes, my real dad has always been around and I have a close relationship with him and have for years, but Steve was the one I woke up to every morning and saw before bed every night. For years Steve was sick with a hereditary liver disease and after over three years of fighting, he finally received a liver transplant and was on the road to recovery. A little over a year after he received his transplant, he suddenly died on Valentine's Day from brain aneurysm. Needless, to say, I was crushed.

My mom though during the months after, she taught us that life goes on and so should we. It shocks most people when I say that Steve died on a Friday and that following Monday, my brother and I were back in school. Yes, we only missed one day of school. My mom felt like it was most important that we resume our normal everyday lives and to be around our friends/classmates, to worry about things like homework, and to not stop our lives to dwell on what had happen. To some that might sound cold or heartless, but for us it what got us through and it worked for us. And yes, it might sound cliché, but that's what Steve would have wanted us to do.

Don't misunderstand, we grieved, we cried, we had our moments of breakdown, we talked about his death on a daily basis, and we even went to counseling for it, but we weren't the type to sit and just cry about it. That is something that remains with me to this day.

Yes, when someone dies, it's sad, but I'm not the type to sit around a cry about it. Death is apart of life whether we like it or not and its something that everyone has to deal with at some point and time in their lives. My life does not stop because someone else's does. No, I do not feel this is disrespectful to those that have died. None of us know how long we have on this earth, so I refuse to stop living life because of someone else's death. Regardless of who it is. Some may say it's because you haven't lost someone close to you, but believe it or not, I've lost more close people to me than a majority of people my age. In the last 13 years, I've lost a parent who raised me, a great-grandmother who took care of us for years while Steve was sick, a uncle I've always been close to, and a another great-grandmother who was one of my favorite people in the world. Yes, I took this approach and handle their deaths all in the same way and I know in my heart, I am at peace with everyone of their deaths.

I know this past couple of weeks due to certain events, I've been questioned on how true of a friend I am, but all I can say is that those people didn't want to hear what I would have had to say to them. Due to the way I was raised to look at and deal with death, I will not and would not have sat there to hold your hand while you cried or told you what you wanted to hear. Sorry, I'm not that kind of person and I never will be. I would have told you to have a good cry, pull yourself up, and move on with life. I'm not going to baby others because of death. Yes, I know that sounds cold or heartless, but I'm sorry, I can't change the way I feel. So, unfortunately, when someone else has to deal with a death, I'm not the best person to look towards for comfort and I understand that this is hurtful to others.

This doesn't mean that I completely shove those that have passed out of my mind. In fact, I think about and still talk about Steve all the time. I'm thankful my mom remarried a man who is also a widower and we always talk about the loved ones we've lost. I tell David on a regular basis that Steve would have loved him and how I wish he could have met him. In fact, he was the last thought in my head as I walked down the aisle to marry David and one of the first thoughts in my head when they placed Olivia in my arms (she has some awesome grandpas, but he would her loved her like no other, just like he loved me). I love him still to this day and he will always have that piece of my heart.

Comments

Kameron said…
Everyone deals with death differently. My mom died 4 days before finals week my last semester in college. All of my professors kept trying to give me extensions and I kept telling them I didn't want them. Throwing myself into studying and finishing my undergrad helped me not to spiral into a very dark place. My mom was my best friend. There is not a time that I don't think of how she would have loved to hold her grandchildren, or wish I could call her just to shoot the breeze on the phone. There are moments when I break down sobbing because I miss her so much, but then there are also days when I don't think about her at all. It's been 9 years and it still hurts, but not like a fresh wound.

I hope your friends can understand that you mean well, but you just handle things differently than they do.
Paige said…
I agree. I have never lost a parent although I lost my best friend 5 days after Charli was born. I had to just pick up the memories and move on. We all deal with everything in life (not just death) differently.

I have to say that this "its the after wards. Its a month from now when suddenly wake up and realize what has happened and I'll be there for you when that afterwards strikes." is the most perfect statement for this "friend."