31. That's how old I am now. Old enough my knees and back ache a bit after being bending down talking to kids. Old enough that my 6 years young daughter is about to lose her bottom two front teeth. Old enough to have touched hands with more people I care to admit who have stepped out of this world to the next.

And that last sentence is what spawned this post. The idea that in our early 30's, with all the improved medicine and technology at our side we are but mortal. A ripe old age and death with quiet dignity is not promised. Cancer takes us. Accidents take us. We take ourselves. And what comfort can you offer the grieving? When life is a road paved with uncertainty and the one who has walked beside you has gone, what universal words can be offered to ease the suffering only a mortal can feel so poignantly. 

When my Tutu was on her death bed I had the chance to say goodbye. I tried to feed her peaches, hoped she would look at me. I hoped she would see me. Just see me. Please recognize. Please smile like you used to. Hear me say that I love you. But she didn't, she didn't want the peaches. She wanted to go home. Let me die. Let me die! Papa take me home! Years later I watched my father cry looking at an old video of her trying to talk to him, "Just listen Sherwood! Look at her! You idiot!" Look. See. Listen. These words I once felt cursed with I now feel blessed.

Thinking about my dearly departed the one thing I wished I had more of was intent. So many people talk about having more time but time means nothing if not used wisely. I wished I never left any doubts whether the people I loved knew they were loved. Whatever time I spent with them was spent looking into their eyes, seeing their soul, and listening to their words. That is the comfort I hope to offer those in grief. I have no words because they cannot express how my soul aches for yours. I'll be there when you want me. I'll see you.

Leave a Reply