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I recently wrote an article describing my last visit with my father. He passed away on the morning of April 3rd, two days after his 85th birthday. Given the number of people who linger for years in the purgatorial twilight of dementia, his relatively quick demise (he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December 2017) was a relative blessing.
Since Dad died, people have offered various laments and consolations, but I am filled only with gratitude and peace. We had a good run of it, and in the catalogue of human suffering the world over, the loss of a parent in their 80s is comparatively low on the scale.
Person - Regrets - Thankfulness - Life - Painlessness
When one person expressed their regrets, I thanked them while replying with thankfulness for the life lived and the relative painlessness of his departure. The person observed, “But we also lament what could have been.” Perhaps. To be sure, it is possible that dad could have lived to be a centenarian with a razor-sharp mind to the end, but it is also possible that he could have collapsed of a heart attack at 42. Rather than lament what greater possibilities could have been realized, I prefer to be thankful for what I did receive.
Regardless, we all walk a slightly different road of lament. There is no right or wrong to the journey of grief and the dawning of hope and acceptance that lies beyond. There is only the road itself which must be walked.
Years - Solace - Sources - Metalcore - Band
Over the last few years, I have drawn solace from varied sources including the atheistic metalcore band Architects. (Betcha didn’t see that one coming!) A few years ago, the band faced the untimely death of a bandmate to cancer. Their own struggle with mortality is expressed powerfully in many songs. Here’s a stanza from “Death is not defeat”:
Why do we...
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