So I found out one of my techs from National City passed away on October 3rd. It was quite a shock and it really hit me hard. He was only 41 years old and left his wife & 2 children. I haven't worked with him for nearly five years, and I only worked with him for 2 years. He was a very hard working person and you could just tell he loved his family so, just by the way he spoke. I suppose he is one of two people very close to my age I've personally known that has died.
It's funny because my Gram passed away on the same day exactly nine years ago. That was a very difficult day in my life, you see I spent the entire day with her. We had lunch with my Mom, went grocery shopping, and took a drive looking for a government building in Pacific Beach. We spent the last day of her life together, she was even talking about making me a lemon pie for my birthday, which was the very next day. I actually found her dead in her chair when I came back upstairs. That was a wonderful day and one of the hardest days of my life. I still miss her, but she was my Gram, and grandparents die, it's never easy, but that's just how life is.
When my Mom died, that was a different story, I suppose all deaths are different stories; just like each life is a different story. I suppose that's what makes it so interesting, I digress, though not as well or insightful as Mister Javier Marias. As I was saying, my Mom's death was very difficult for much different reasons. I was there with my brother when she passed away. The last days of her life were spent in a hospital room, I am so grateful she got to see her granddaughter one last time, especially when she was still somewhat lucid. It seems after that she was not verbally communicative at all. It was only her eyes that would tell me things. I think that was so much harder, I watched her die, and there was nothing I could do. My mind and brain knew she was not in pain, not suffering, but my heart was sick. I watched her all night has her body shut down. She had such a high fever, I soaked wash clothes in ice water and placed them on her forehead just to make me feel better I'm sure. That was the night I spent with her by myself. The next night my brother & I both stayed and that was the night she decided to go. I'm glad we were both there, I'm sure that's what she wanted. You know I say that, but who really knows. People say that those who are close to death know and pepare, or they wait for the most opportune time. I don't know, all I know is that my Gram had a full day & died alone and my Mom died in a hospital room with the two people she loved the most. I still miss my Mom, she had cancer & died. It is still difficult on birthdays and holidays, but each day comes & each night closes and life continues.
I think it was at Gram's viewing that my brother said to me quietly sitting in a pew in a chapel with my Gram in her infamous pink dress & silver slippers in her coffin, he said "why do we do this?" Why do people sit around and look at the dead? When you think about it, it's very odd. I'm sure there is some religious, historical, or ethnic explanation, but when you step back & look at the whole picture it's odd. For me though it clicked, in my experiences the day of the funeral / burial the family goes to the chapel one last time to say goodbye in private and follow them to the church and then to the cemetery. It was at that moment I understood why. The last time she & I would share a room together, the last time I would be in her physical presence; though the coffin lid had been closed it was closure for me. It was the finality and it was done.