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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

It feels like people are dying all around me.  And, well, they ARE.  I am 52 years old.  Not old by most standards. Not old enough to count a lot of dearly departed. Yet, I am counting now on the second hand and running out of fingers. 2009: My brother at 49 years old.  2012: My husband at 54 years old.  2013: My mother at 82 years old. 2014: My good friend at (my age) 51 years old.  2015:  OUR friend Fred, at xx years old.

I understand that everyone dies. But it almost feels as if I am a magnet for death or something.  Is it that I feel it more?  Or that I care about more people now? Or is the Universe fucking with me?  I am not sure.

Death does not become me. I don’t like it. I am firmly against it. However, understanding that it is a FACT that I am intimately familiar with, well, you know, there isn’t a damn thing I can do to stop it.

And so I am preparing for it. My Death, I mean. Yes, DEATH! I’m gonna DIE!! And so is everyone else on the planet right now.  Every Senior citizen enjoying retirement by traveling to far off places..meeting new people and enjoying adventures.  Every sweet, head over heels in love couple smelling each other’s perfume and dreaming of the future, every precious fat addled baby suckling on their mother’s life giving breast, comforted by the feeling of safety.

WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

This is not a bad thing. As I’ve come to consider it quite a bit over the last 4 years, I’ve come to know it more. To really appreciate it.

Yes, with it comes separation. And with separation, comes severe pain and longing. Oh, how many nights I sat, staring at Paul’s shoes to reanimate them with his body, or thinking his thoughts and almost, imperceptibly, hearing his voice in my ear. How many times I thought I caught a glimpse of him, in the corner of my eye.  I imagined him sidling up to me, teasing me, “I’m not dead sweetheart, what were you thinking?”  Yes, I’ve had these fantasies.

But the fact remains. And on this note, I hope to make my readers understand the immense positive and wonderful thing that has been discovered.

We are not supposed to live forever. We all have an end date.  I won’t debate the religious or philosophic argument about that here.  That is not important.  I won’t say knowing this will ease any hurt over losing your beloved. It does not.

What IS important is KNOWING, without a shadow of a doubt, that one day (sooner or later who knows) my body will lie cold and lifeless somewhere.  And so, in knowing THAT, I pledge to GET UP every day. Even when, I am heartbroken, discouraged, down trodden, broke, beat up, fed up, freaking CRAZZZZZZZZZZZZZY. I will get up.  I might go back to bed, on certain days when I am feeling low and my back hurts, or my heart hurts.  But I will GET UP.  I will TRY. I will recognize and realize that I don’t have an infinite amount of time to waste.  I will allow myself to be sad, angry, discouraged, or whatever…but I WILL GET UP. 

I will make breakfast, and I will welcome the sun’s rising. Maybe I’ll even do yoga. I might go back to bed, and that’s okay. But I will GET UP, and I will keep GETTING UP, until I can’t anymore.

And then I can say, “at least I got up when I could.”  And people will care for me. And I will flounder, and become frail.  And people will care for me.  And they will surround me, and love me.

And I will die. And will know, that I got up, even when.

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Comment by only1sue on October 19, 2015 at 7:01pm

Yes I am surrounded by death but then I do do nursing home ministry so that may be an explanation.  But until then, like you, I will get up and put as much effort into every day as I can.  Bravo for us. And some days, like you, I will just sit quietly and go over some of my happier memories.  I owe myself and Ray that. And think of all those I have known and loved who have died before me.

Comment by laurajay on October 19, 2015 at 3:32pm

yep Ali...truth is we do not have to die before we are dead.  When we are dead we will then be dead...and depending on one's beliefs the after death thing will come into being.   I am older than you but I too have had lots of people dying near to me--many people with whom I shared myself and to one  extent or another I shared  my soul.  It has all been in about the three yr since  my husband died.  I have heard it said we will never be questioned why we fell or why we failed  only why we chose not to get up and keep going...so bravo to you my friend...get up and get at it  everyday.....on the other side will be time eternal for sleep and stillness.   lov to you Ali!     laurajay

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