The loss of some special people lately has started my little mind racing. Why do people deal with grief in such wildly different ways?
For some the death of a loved one or family member gives rise to strong emotions that can, unfortunately, be played out in negative ways. Feelings of inequity or resentment can bottle up leading to arguments, feuds and sometimes even physical violence. Almost like a Smothers Brothers (for you young whipper snappers, look them up!) routine gone bad, some people’s perception that “Mom always liked you best.” is a reason to fight for their piece of whatever the deceased individual left behind. I’ve heard about some incidents that would probably make the departed person weep tears from heaven.
I attended the funeral today of a truly wonderful individual; a friend of our family whose children were friends with me and my siblings as well. Seeing their grief today at her passing made me sad, but also provided a stellar example of how some people bond through their grief. All the siblings consoled each other during the difficult task of saying goodbye to their beautiful mother. The prepared statement read by her oldest son was a shining tribute to his mom and through it he praised the good traits that his siblings carry with them that each acquired from their mom. It was beautifully written and spoken. At one point he mentioned his mother’s hands which were always there to console her children or wrap around them in a big hug. He said that although she was not perfect, she gave her kids the message that they didn’t have to be perfect either and that no matter what, she would love them unconditionally.
The extreme in these two scenarios makes me wonder which path my family members will take once I am no longer here in the flesh. I haven’t yet accumulated a storehouse of riches that I can bequeath to my three children, but I hope I will leave them with the knowledge that they were loved and treasured by me. I think my friend’s recollection of his mother’s hands speaks volumes about the way his family members are processing their grief. The fact that she was a “hands-on” type of person and was there for her kids when they needed her is why they can now model that with each other. They will be there to comfort and console each other.
It reminds me of the saying,
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Stephen Grellet
I want to be that type of person. I want to be remembered as someone who was “hands-on” and always there to support and encourage people. I pray that after I have breathed my last that those who knew me can say that while I was far from perfect, I tried my best to be a good person and to be there for anyone who needed me.