It’s Late

… and I’m tired. Earlier, late afternoon on the 11th, my husbands father passed on. He had been in the hospital for a week, and failing for some time. My father, one of my grandfathers, and one of my grandmothers died at this time of year. It makes for schizoid feelings with the joy of Christmas on the one hand and on the other hand the sadness of a family member passing from this life to the next.

I’ve been fairly upbeat this season, and rejoiced in the beautiful warm weather of the day (Dec. 11 reached 66 degrees!). None of us are overly melancholy with the news of my father in law’s death, as he lived quite a long life, 92 years, and beat death many times. We were sure last year would be his last, but he bounced back once again. This time, though, there was no giving the grim reaper the slip, and we all knew that for some time.

It underscores some things that have been uppermost in my mind lately: what will you be remembered for? Too often we stay strapped into the character that those around us draw for us, when we have the power at all times to redraw the picture. The thing is to figure out whether to dig around the old fig tree or give up on that one and plant anew.

Related to that is lesson that health is of such importance to how we end our lives… the effort to be healthy into our old age is certainly of high priority, and emotional health is as important. I think the one area of emotional health is to invest yourself in others. Those who are grateful for that investment are important to your own well being. One other very important lesson is to show gratefulness and appreciation, and I am trying to improve on that. To turn from negative regrets towards positive and proactive “glass half full” attitudes and words of the same to others. Giving honor where honor is due and such related concepts as that.

It has made me think of News Years Resolutions a little early, but that topic is for another post.

This one is to say that maybe the best gift we can give each other for Christmas is affirmation and support. affirming what is good in each other, supporting through freely speaking our love and appreciation for others, and looking for the need we may serve, in however small a way.

5 thoughts on “It’s Late”

  1. Good reflections. I was reminded that my Dad passed about a week before Christmas. Timing the funeral/interment was rushed because my mother’s birthday is on the 23rd and the cemetery was not available the next two days. We rushed to be done by the 22nd to avoid underscoring the event on Mom’s birthday thereafter.

    It was at that time we discovered the elegant simplicity of Orthodox Jewish caskets…entirely biodegradable for religious reasons (returning to “dust”). All wood, no hardware, even organic glues and finishes. We’re not Jewish but my dad was buried in such a casket and Mom made it clear that hers is to be the same. (It came with a wooden star of David to be placed on the casket, but we kept it to use as a Christmas decoration and commemorative.)

    BTW your blog has a hiccup. The post appears twice.

  2. Hoots, I appreciate your comment so much! I want to be buried in just such a casket… will definitely look into that. I always said I want the simplest box available, and that seems like the ideal solution.

    All my blogging has had such hiccups lately- I have an extremely slow connection and my computer is giving me fits- have no time to fix things. But I did delete the extra post:)

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss, Ilona. I pray that you, your husband, and your family will be strengthened this Advent season. Despite the fact that your father-in-law had lived a long life, the loss is still very real and devastating.

  4. That fact is hard for my husband to assimilate… his mind tells him there isn’t much to be sad about, but his heart is saying something different.

  5. I didn’t mean to imply that because someone has lived a long (and possibly fruitful) life, that there isn’t much to be sad about upon their passing. On the contrary! Especially with your husband, he has every right to be grieving – his own father, someone near and dear to him for a long, long time, has been removed from this earthly existence.

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