Recently I wrote a blog about the loss of my aunt. I spoke of death, a subject so many of us fear. I am one of the many. Yes, I fear death. I fear its unknown quality and I despise its long skinny fingers that pluck us from the herds regardless of our age. It slinks around without giving any notice of when it will come calling. It is like a rude house guest. I know it will one day call upon me personally. I am already a card carrying member in its club having come face to face at a young age with its wily ways.
My brother was only 17 when death came. Meeting him on a deserted stretch of asphalt as the yellow dodge he was driving met the face of an oncoming car, death was there. I imagined it stood watching and waiting for the moment when all life ceased and the spoils could be collected. That day death was rude. There was no notice and no warning. Death made my family the walking wounded. Death forced us to grieve. Death forced me to live on a diet of valium to fill the wound that had sliced me in half. Death was not sweet but it was merciful. My brother was killed on impact as death that day did not allow his suffering.
Although we fear death there are those times, it can come as a welcomed friend. When we or our loved ones are suffering and our conditions are not compatible with life, death will ask us to let go. “Come with me” it may whisper in our ear. Death has been and is still my teacher. It has taught me that it is Ok to grieve our loss in anyway we feel is necessary. There is no time limit on grief as well meaning friends tell us we should get on with the business of living. Death has taught me to take the time I need, to take care of myself, to cry, to scream and to be deep with the pain. I still fear death and yes I will cry with loss and maybe sink into an abyss of despair but I know it will be OK. I will survive.