SENIORS: WALKING THE JOURNEY TOGETHER

Jan 13th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Hearing the Sad News

It was not the most celebratory of holidays.  It was fraught with bad news moments when telephone calls and emails notified us of the death or impending passing of a friend or a loved one.  It almost seemed epidemic.  Following on the contact came the necessary task of putting travel arrangements together, notifying others, packing and making ready for a strenuous journey which would involve about 12 hours.  At such times, there is no excuse giving, backing out, or pleading helplessness.  Being there with those you care deeply for and about is the only mandate to be accepted.

As I traveled several hundred miles to be present for the memorial service of my father-in-law, I was mindful of others who had died in the last few days:  A member of a congregation I had served, a friend who had undergone a long and lingering fight with cancer, a friend who had lost her husband.  It was not a happy time.  It was a time for grief, a moment for silent meditation, a recognition of one’s own deficiencies and inabilities at such a time.

Sharing Memories is Healing

Grief is one of those emotions that has a way of taking hold of us and taking over. My wife had several days of what she called a ‘foggy head’ when she had difficulty remembering details and moving from one moment to the next.   We aren’t always in complete control of it, nor how it affects us.  We are aware that we need something right then.  Ordinarily it is found in the warm embrace of someone else who is having their own sad time, just as you are.

No matter that he was 96.  Still the void is profound.  No matter that all kinds of memories and feelings run rampant in your heart and mind and spirit and soul.  No matter that, having known the end was imminent, there was no real preparedness one could go through. For when it came, the wonderfully audacious magic of a special relationship would have come to its finale.

Now, there is the treasure of memory, the balm of laughter when recollecting funny times, the nature of the persona and all that he gave away to those who surrounded him on so many occasions.  All of that and more will be ours forever.  It will never fade completely.  We now have, as a perpetual part of our existence, the shared magnificence of having walked some of the journey together.



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