Monday, May 04, 2009

Into Each Life

There have been two deaths in my family of relatives in past six months. Both were cousins the first, male and the most recent, female. Both of these cousins were older (by at least 15 years) as my mother has siblings who are nearly 20 her senior.

Both were cremated. Both families had (in the case of the latter, will be having) memorial services for the paying of last respects. I didn’t know either cousin very well, the male was very distant and hadn’t come to many family functions and the female lived out of state during much of my life, and didn’t attend may family gatherings either.

My Uncle Daniel, mom’s oldest brother who lost is oldest of two sons, Ronald to an aggressive cancer is fighting his own host of debilitating ailments.

My Aunt Betty, mom’s oldest sister, in fact, the oldest of the bunch, lost her daughter, Delores to a similarly aggressive cancer. My Aunt Betty who gave birth to ten children, has said (is saying) good-bye to three. Even Betty Jean, Aunt Betty's oldest daughter lost her only son last year, who was my youngest brother's age.

And I suppose given that I spent a glorious Sunday afternoon with my son, given that I get to see my daughter every day in happiness (and even sadness as she struggles with certain issues) and given that the past couple of days have been fabulous with regards to the weather, and the forecast calls for the next couple to be similarly wonderful, there are certainly brighter topics on which to touch.

But, I can’t shake this, this . . . sorrow. To say first to my uncle and now my aunt, “I’m so sorry for your loss” seems such an insignificant thing to say, as I cannot fathom the inconsolable, incomprehensible devastation that must be felt when your child, no matter their age, no matter the circumstances, dies. It is not meant to be, they say. Not supposed to happen, that way. Yet, it does. Often enough. And I simply . . .

Can. Not. Fathom.

But, sorry is what I am. “Sorry” is about all I can say.


  1. It really is all you can say. I watched my parents go through this, all the while dealing with my own grief. It's incredible though, just how much those simple words help comfort the grieving.

  2. And sometimes a card with that word is more than enough. Knowing that others are there for them and thinking of them in their time of loss is what being family is all about.

  3. All you need to say.

  4. Sorry is beyond good enough. No one ever really fathoms it all. Sorry works really well.

  5. Just to know that someone is thinking of you helps.

  6. Just to know that someone is thinking of you helps.

  7. First of all my condolences, and as the others said, at times like this Deborah, just what can one say? I hear ya though girl.


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