I attended two memorial services this weekend, not for patients but for people from my town. One was a patriarch of sorts, a business owner who worked beside his employees. Later, his son, a friend of mine, took over the business. It is his sadness, really, that I felt. There was a wonderful turnout of friends, fellow business owners and family. The slide show captured the closeness of the family. It actually made me wish I had more siblings and nieces/nephews around as well as my parents.
Today’s memorial was at our Center (church). It was smaller but no less touching. The woman, younger than me, died after 30 years of an illness. Her husband is sad, but held up well and even played a piece on the keyboard for his wife. We had photos and memories shared by old friends.
I came home, and I felt sad. It’s understandable, I think. There were a lot of emotions in both rooms. I had also had good talks with both men (son and husband), so I understood some of what they were feeling.
I realize that it is easier in some ways to compartmentalize my feelings at work. A man in his fifties died this past week after several years with a debilitating disease. I am sad for his family but relieved that he is free from his emaciated body. At work, I support staff as well as families, and staff members support me. Here, I come home to my house and sit with my feelings for a while. Writing helps, and so does identifying and accepting my feelings. It’s okay for me to feel sad and a little empty. I understand my emotions and release them after acknowledging them.
I talked to my younger son a little while ago. The death of one of his heroes, Kobe Bryant, has hit him hard. I watched the news for a little while, but that was making me feel worse. Funny how the news does that. The loss of a husband and a daughter is devastating. I send prayers and love to the family.
Mostly, I am remembering today how fleeting life can be, and how much I want to tell my sons and my brothers that I love them. And so I will.