Sunday, March 22, 2009

life too short

I find that whenever I am faced with someone's death, even if they aren't that close to me, I am shaken. I guess it forces me to have a look at my own life and my own mortality. Whatever I believe about what happens after, this life is only once, and very short.
My husband's grandmother passed away last night. She was surrounded by family when it happened and in a very lovely setting. There were no needles, monitors, or tubes. She was not in a hospital, but died peacefully in her longterm care home. We were there for part of her journey to the end, but I never felt as if I really new her, and so thought I would not be touched. I have dealt with people dying since I began my career path. Despite all of this, I am always touched.
I mourned today. For her, for her family. Mostly, though, I mourned for mortality and the loss of life. It makes me think, again, about what is important. In the end, who remembers you? What do you leave behind? If you have no family, the answer seems obvious. Unless you are some uber smart and talented person who luckily gets something named after them, in 100 years no one will remember you. However, if you have kids at least your legacy lives on. One small piece of you will remain.
Death is never easy. Maybe it is one of the reasons I do what I do. I try to help people stave off death for a little longer than they might not have been able to. I bring them comfort instead of pain. Sometimes I even get to be involved in bringing new life into the worlds.
I am comforted by the fact that she was not in any pain. I am comforted by the fact that some of her family was there. Still, I sent out a prayer that she might be happy in her existence, and that her family's pain would be eased by this.

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