Expected, yet sudden.

Death always seems to come suddenly, even when you know it is the expected outcome of a terminal illness.

This morning we are shocked to hear of the death of a dear friend, whose mortal life has ended.  She had suffered for a long time, and her family  along with her.  But in every aspect of her illness, she met the setbacks with simple courage, grace and wisdom.

I didn’t  see her that often but when we met, she never complained, just kept right on living her life to the fullest, tackling the next creative project with vigour.

She will be sorely missed by her family, her husband of forty-five years, her daughters, son-in-laws and her grandchildren.  Then there are her surviving siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and her ever expanding circle of friends.

So at some point in the next few days we will all meet to say our last goodbyes, we’ll listen to eulogies from family and friends, shed tears for our loss and catch up with those we haven’t seen for years.    It will be quite a contrast to the funeral we attended last week for the ninety year old father of friends.  Then we celebrated a life well lived with goals achieved and a simple sadness that we will not see him anymore.

The next funeral we go to will have sadness, raw grief for a life cut short.  A life that still had much to accomplish, as that was her way — to take on more new challenges conquering them before moving on to the next.

So we grieve — those of us left behind, but I’d like to remember — with love, gratitude and thanks for having known her.

And I’d like to imagine that I will have at least a fraction of the courage she showed when faced with death.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.

Love leaves a memory no one can steal. — From an old Irish headstone.

R.I.P Louise.

Older — Wiser??

You’d think that getting older would make you wiser. However age doesn’t equal wisdom in reality.
Sure, as I’ve gotten older there have been a lot that has been added to my knowledge bank, but that doesn’t mean I actually use that information wisely.  On the contrary, I often make such simple mistakes that when reviewed make me cringe in shame.
Still I believe that to be part of membership in the human race.  I look at others and wonder how they got to be so wise — when I’ve had similar experiences yet still make novice mistakes.
Raising my children for instance — if I had the chance to go back to the beginning there would probably be a few changes I’d make.  But then again that might change the way my children grew, and when I stop and take a good look at what I’ve got now, well perhaps I did get quite a lot right.
My work experiences too could probably be over-scrutinised and my performance picked to pieces as well.  Yes I could have handled some situations much more diplomatically, but diplomacy and me don’t really seem to be partners.
Then there was the period of time when I watched my daughter unravel and simply didn’t have the knowledge or understanding to respond in the ‘right’ way.  Was there really a ‘right’ way, or is that what I’d liked to have had at that time?
Looking back is not always a good idea.  I have conversations in my head that go amazingly well — afterwards.  Somedays I think that if I could just open my mouth a little wider I might be able to fit the other foot in it!
Life doesn’t come with a manual or troubleshooting guide, we just have to muddle along making the best of it from our observations and experiences.  We each have our own sets of ideas for the various areas in our lives such as raising children, work ethics and conducting our daily lives.  Yes we’ve probably gathered ideas and incorporated them into our repertoires along the way, yet that alone is what makes each of us unique.
Imagine how crushingly boring life would be if we all behaved the same way, followed the same guidelines and thought the same way — yuk!!
I must have had some flash of wisdom in me when I  selected my mate of the past forty four years — and they said it would never last!
Still, I am what or who I am and I’ve been shaped by my experiences and circumstances that have helped form the me of today.
Do I need to change that me, or should I be wise and leave well enough alone?