March 9, 2012

The loss of a family member

Once again our family has been touched by death.  I guess I should feel relieved and be grateful that we’ve been able to keep all our family members for the last 13+ months.  After all I know some people who are faced with tragedy after tragedy and feel as though their lives are damned.  


My husband’s Grandmother passed away on February 21st after a sudden series of events leading to her falling and breaking her hip.  Her body needed to be stabilized before they could safely perform surgery to repair the break, but he body was never fully able to recover from the surgery.  She previously had always enjoyed good health and her independence, but that changed shortly after her 92nd birthday  Still, Louise, managed to pack a whole lot of life in and continued to do fairly well with her condition until the last year.  


Louise’s death caught me off guard.  Not so much because she passed away, but more by how it affected me personally.  I’ve known Louise since sometime around 1991, but got to know her better during 1992 when my then boyfriend, his family and I traveled together that Summer.  Louise and I were roommates on two trips that year, so we quickly got to know each other.  Being faced with Louise’s death brought forward all the painful feelings I had experienced deep in my soul when we lost our daughter, Stella.  Yes, I’ve dealt with Stella’s death and continue to work through this life changing tragedy, but once the raw emotions hit I felt like I was being flooded by a tidal wave of feelings.  Suddenly it was like I wasn’t just being faced with one death, but a life time of deaths and loss all compounded together!  I’ve done enough grief work to know that this isn’t an uncommon feeling, or I might have gotten so depressed that I would have felt myself going crazy.  But understanding why I was having these feelings didn’t really help me cope.


Trey spoke during his Grandmother’s service, and if I hadn’t already been feeling the weight of Stella’s passing on my heart, his words brought pain deep in to my soul.  I’ll share an excerpt of Trey’s writings below:

Grandmother’s Eulogy

Death is a mysterious gift.  It brings loved ones together, by separating them from the ones they love.  We’ve all been brought together today because of our love for my Grandmother, and all those whose lives she’s touched.  Her passing is a gift.  Just as her life was a gift.  No one wants to think about their own mortality, but we all know we’re not getting out of this thing alive.  A death in the family is just another wake up call, reminding us that we only have a short while on this Earth.  The amount of time we have here can never be known, and death is nature’s way of reminding us not to squander the time that we have.

My Grandmother was fortunate.  She spent 94 years here, most of which were spent in good health.  My wife and I had a daughter, Stella Grace, who was not so fortunate.  She was born on my Grandmother’s 92nd birthday, and only lived for an hour and 47 minutes.  It’s amazing how many lives were touched by our little girl, despite her short life.  One can only wonder how many lives my Grandmother touched in her 94 years.  And I can assure you that both will continue to touch lives long after they’re gone.  I know that every December 23rd our family will be celebrating the lives of two very special women.

So, if you’re sad, be sad.  But don’t forget to be grateful.  Be grateful for this gift of Life we’ve all been given.  It’s so precious.  I owe my life, at least in part, to my Grandmother.  Had it not been for the birth of my Grandmother, my Mother would not be here today.  Had it not been for my Mother, I would not be here today.  And if I were not here today, my wife would not be carrying, what promises to be the most precious child to ever walk this Earth.  Though I may be a bit biased.
Las Vegas conference trip with Louise ~ 2009

Rest in peace, Louise!  You’ve touched the lives of many people!  Hope you're winning big at the slot machines in the sky!

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