Last weekend was odd. The talk at the market was about the long, lingering winter and how Saturday’s snow would be it’s the last dying gasp. While spring was on everyone’s mind, it seemed an irony to hear so many stories of dying.
Buddy’s mom died, I learned from another farm volunteer. He’d been praying that she’d be released from the dementia that robbed him of the woman he knew. Finally, she was.
Sonny’s wife died, he told me as he bought a meal to go. I knew she had been sick but hadn’t heard. He was so sad, I wanted to hug him but it felt too intrusive. Next time.
Melanie’s mother’s service was Sunday. All her friends came. Her house is overrun with food they left behind but still, she needed a salad. Something fresh. I wished I’d hugged her too.
Kathy’s Mike was soon to go too but he was peaceful, she said Saturday. She is a soldier moving through the long process. He died Sunday.
Chef Adam’s dad refused treatment last Wednesday. Adam, like any young man, wasn’t prepared for what would soon be a reality. We talked about it Thursday. About hospice and the struggle and a matter of time. It was all too quick to for him to process. His dad died Monday.
Death leaves me feeling impotent. Helpless and lost. Wishing there were something I could do, something more than just listen. I find myself wishing I were a better person, the kind who knew how to cook the right casserole or say the right thing. Then, realizing I’m making it all about me, I feel even worse.
This time though, death has me feeling a little odd. It has bestowed a sense of privilege on me. I realize the privilege of knowing and talking to so many friends throughout my day. To share and listen and be trusted with their most sacred stories.
Death for me, right now, is a privilege of friendship and I am grateful for it.
Thank you for the honor of sharing your lives and to everyone who has lost a loved one, my heart goes out to you. With love,