I didn’t know it at the time, but the last time I blogged (December 30, 2017) turned out to be the last day of my mother’s life. She was only 52 years old. The same age my father was when he passed away a little over two years ago. Strange, huh?
They say that death is the ultimate freedom, and I think for my parents, it was.
As far back as I can remember, and from as much as I’ve been told, life for my parents was a series of traumatic events, often a result of their not-so-great attempts to disassociate themselves with the reality of life. This pattern continued into the last months of their lives. And I have no doubt in my mind that by the time their last day came, they were honestly and utterly exhausted by the trauma of everyday life.
I don’t believe my parents wanted to die, but I don’t think they couldn’t handle living. At least not the way they were doing it.
Life, even normal life, is arduous, demanding, and ultimately threatening. We all have to deal with it, and none of us really knows how. We are all traumatized by life, by its unpredictability, its randomness, its lack of regard for our feelings and the losses it brings. Each in our own way, we suffer.” Mark Epstein, The Trauma of Everyday Life
Losing both parents at such young ages, within just a few years, with the addition frustrating and complicated circumstances is most certainly traumatic.
As much as I’d like to distance myself from the raw reality that is my life right now, I keep reminding myself that the only way out is through.
Through the grief, I’m learning how to handle fear of uncertainty and loss.
Through the anger, I’m learning to the freedom of forgiveness and acceptance.
Through the sadness, I’m learning to pay more attention to life, especially appreciating when things are good.
Through the pain, I’m learning to allow myself to feel and heal.
I loved my parents. And I know they loved me. But they were so hell-bent on finding a way out, they missed out and messed up a lot of the good stuff on the way through. I don’t want to do that. I hope you don’t either.