People Dyin’ Up In Here

So today was an emotional roller coaster. I seem to have reached an age where people are dying.  I know that people have been dying since the beginning of time. But I hadn’t had to go to a funeral since I lost my grandfather, my very last grandparent in 2004. That was a long time. Sure I would hear about people dying, and I would feel sympathetic, but yet so removed from it. 

Until December 2015. That is when it all started up again. This wave of death kicked off with the death of my father in law, then his sister, then a neice, and it kept snowballing until we had lost some cousins, and a few more aunts.  But those deaths were in other states far enough away that I could cope with most of them well enough. 

Apparently I handled them a little too well. Now they are closer in proximity, and I have become one of those women who frequents the funeral homes. This past December, it was the death of my coworker’s father. Then one of my students lost her mother. Today I went to the funeral for the son of my friend.  Then I return home to find out that J has lost another uncle. 

I am such an empath, and as I age, I find that I am unable to compartmentalize my emotions. I had never actually met my friend’s son. He was an adult, married with a child less than a year old. But today at his funeral, I sobbed, and my heart was breaking for his mother, his wife, his sister, his daughter, all of whom I have the pleasure of knowing to varying degrees. 

And all the while, I wrestled with what to say to them. It’s never easy to find the right words when someone has lost a loved one. To speak with his widow and sister was going to be easier. They at least speak English.  But my friend is an immigrant with extremely limited English proficiency, and while I do speak quite a bit of Spanish, I worried about how I could communicate the depth of my condolences, when the words I know applicable to this situation are “I’m sorry.”

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to talk to her. There were so many people at the funeral that it took me twenty minutes to get to the door, and by then the family and the hearce were gone. I suppose this a good thing, so I have time to google and translate what I want to communicate. 

So the moral of today’s story:  Life is short, and tomorrow isn’t promised. Don’t just tell people how you feel. Show them. Make them feel it too. Hug your kids. Passionately kiss your spouse. Cuddle your dog. Don’t wait for a day that may never come. 


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