Alone In The World – How a daughter deals with death

I remember when my mom died over three years ago wondering what it would be like when both my parents were gone. Even though I was in my forties and had a husband and children of my own, I realized the thought scared me. I think dealing with death in the passing of my mother placed that thought out of my head and instead putting a great deal of thought into the memorial service. I was a little nervous that my mother wanted to be cremated because my grandparents all chose burials and that was what I was used to and more comfortable with naturally.

The Service

I used Lake Ridge Chapel to do my mom’s service because I knew Santos the owner and the place seemed convenient and nice, fresh and clean. It was a big relief to find out when we met with the Lake Ridge folks we could still have a visitation with a viewing and a memorial service at my church even though we were doing a cremation. At the end Mams (that’s what we called my mom) didn’t even look like herself in the hospital. The visitation gave me a chance to see Mams all made up in her favorite outfit and that was a much better memory for me. The service was fantastic and I knew she was looking down smiling.

A few months after the funeral we almost lost my Dad and I felt that wave of fear again about being alone with both my parents gone. Thankfully he survived and even though he had dementia, my sisters and I got to spend the next three years getting to know my father better than ever in a whole new way really. Growing up, my father never wanted to talk about his experience in the Korean war which we knew was pretty brutal based on injuries he suffered and medals he received. After Mams died my dad finally opened up and really tried to tell me things which made me feel a special bond. I always thank God that I had that extra time with my dad.

Dealing with Death

Last October my dad finally decided to join his beloved Nancy he missed so much. At the end my dad could barely talk or eat and couldn’t walk at all. I knew it was his time to go which gave me some peace. Once again Santos and the Lake Ridge staff whom I had grown to know and love took great care of my family. To see my dad receive a military tribute was so amazing. I really lost it when they played taps, but I know my dad loved looking down on that tribute so much. After the service was over however, there it was. I hadDealing with death - footprints to face the reality I had been dreading for years, dealing with death of both parents. Even though I have a big wonderful family, an incredible church, and great friends who were there to comfort me, it was a really lonely feeling just like I knew it would be when they were both gone. I had to come to terms with the fact that I would never see the two people who always loved me more than anyone else in the world. Even though those thoughts were so tough, I really wanted to work through this pain. I prayed, cried, and read scripture and talked to folks when needed. I found that there was some light there after all. It was so comforting to know that my parents were together again.

As a person of faith, I also realized I wouldn’t have wanted them to stay on earth and suffer when they could be together and free from pain and the troubles they carried around in this world. In fact, now I picture them looking down smiling on my sisters and I all the time. Every time something big happens good or bad I feel their spirit and it really is incredibly comforting. Even though grief is different for every person, I feel like it is something that must be dealt with no matter how hard.

I am glad I have faced the thoughts about being alone that always haunted me and come through on the other side. Life can be so difficult, but dealing with death has taught me there is always a way to find joy and peace if you search for it. The thought that my amazing parents who struggled so much here on earth now get to celebrate every day together brings me greater joy than I thought possible. God is good.

Submitted by Christy Reeves

 

This post by the California Cognitive Behavioral Institute may also be helpful in dealing with the death of a loved one:
https://theccbi.com/thoughts-on-death-and-grief/

 

 

 

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