End of Life Support

November 1, 2013

Having experienced a disproportionate amount of loss in the last five years I have become proficient of the grieving process.  I can offer all the words of comfort to a mourner, share sympathies and some rationalizations to make sense of the loss no matter how sudden or expected.  I can ask the questions that a caregiver might want to hear during the ill’s end of life.  


Life has a zero percent survival rate.  

Nobody gets out alive.  

It is supposed to be difficult and awful.  
The grief is proportionate to the love. 

Loss is always too soon.  

Death is part of the cycle.  

And of course It could always be worse.


But just because it could be worse does not mean the moment and grief are seemingly unbearable.  Perhaps in worse situations the heart can find an even lower place to sink. 

And when we loose someone we love, religion tells us to Bless the Lord, whoever you may perceive as such.  Thank Him for allowing someone into our lives who we will miss.  Praise this higher being for He is the true judge.  We mere mortals think with our hearts and wish our family could live with us eternally on earth.  But they cannot.  And we know that.  But we still wish they could.  

The loss of my mom was devastating and shocking.  I could not comprehend how I could continue with her absence.  

Three years later, the loss of uncle was a painful surprise.  He was not part of my daily life so his passing did not dominate my thoughts and actions as my mother’s. 

The following year my father lay in a hospital bed telling me that he was not going to get better.  There was laughter and tears. If given the choice on one’s passing, my father would have gladly checked the box that said surrounded by family remembering great times.  But I was numb.  Somehow I had known in the months leading up to his bedside declaration that cancer was going to win.  Of course I did not want to believe it but I braced myself for it.  So the grief was not as shocking.  I had already faced my beliefs on death and afterlife, and memorized the script of comfort.  This is the right order of events.  It’s always too soon.  It could be worse. etc.

And last week my 99 year old grandmother who had buried two sons in the past 20 months passed away.  It should not have been a surprise.  She had scares before often having myself or another family member rush in to visit.  Better to come in and have some fun, then visit for the funeral, Grandma used to say.  Nonetheless her loss is painful.  There is a whole in the universe where this outspoken strong matriarch once commanded.  

And it is with these losses that my ancestry has disappeared.  As it is supposed to be, eventually.  And even then it will be too soon.  


I look to my husband, my three healthy children and thank the man above for my blessings.  

And I curl up in a ball wishing an elder was looking out for me here on Earth.  

This is the lot I received.  Some days I am more grateful for the family I had and the one I am creating, and other days the loneliness has a firmer grip.   


As I teach my children, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.