Saturday, December 14, 2013

Making sense of pain

I was raised Catholic, so I went to my fair share of funerals as a kid, not always for relatives with whom I was familiar. So the grief itself didn't make a dent, rather it was a place for my brother and I to dress up and be complemented on our exemplary behavior. I remember shedding tears when Popie died (my dad's dad), and that was probably my first recognition of death. But it simply doesn't sink in until it hits someone close to you, which is why Dad's passing hit me like a truck on the highway.

One of the niggling side effects of blog trolling is happening upon the truly sad stories, the miscarriages, the children with cancer, and such. Facebook introduced me to Sammy (may he rest in peace), whose mother, it turns out, I went to elementary school with. That blog introduced me to another Sammy. He passed this morning.

It's pretty easy to decipher why these passings make me pensive, beyond the knee-jerk sadness of a child dying. I'm still at an age where I could produce children, and it's still a desire, a rather deep one. I also watch and listen helplessly while my niece is neglected by her parents, and the rage about that burns deep.


Lil Sis's friend continues in a holding pattern. She redeveloped pneumonia and remains in a medically induced coma while hemodialysis attempts to continue the healing of her kidneys. She has developed intermittent contractions in her breathing pattern, which could be the pneumonia, or a new symptom of the possible brain damage from when she suffered cardiac arrest. They can't know until she's stable enough for a long MRI, just what's going on upstairs. All progress is maddeningly incremental, and doesn't yet tell the whole story.

My friend Diana won't be home for Christmas as she's being discharged to a rehab facility first. She's on the mend, but it's hard not to think about how the decades of smoking have shortened her lifespan.

I've definitely relearned how to pray these past couple of months. I think daily on these folks and send my individual desires for their health, or their families' peace, out into the universe. It's all I can do, and I reconcile myself to that.


All these people will be in the back of my head when I visit family at Christmastime and interact with family members who take life for granted everyday, who lie in bed the majority of their days popping pills and refuse to do anything to better their lots in life. It's very hard for me to walk in their shoes. I have real trouble with people who won't help themselves, and unfortunately there are quite a few candidates in this scenario.

I will wear my mala beads, meditate when able, and shower my niece in love while we're there. I can't wait to play with her, distract her from her situation, and watch her delight about Christmas. There will likely be plenty of yelling this holiday, and I want no part of it; which is not to say that I'll hide from it. Actually I'm pretty sure my opinions will become known the minute I interact with the people in question, and hopefully that will squelch any further arguing. Hey, a girl can dream.

Reading nook pic from here. Snow pics from here.

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