Death has been a common theme in my life. Even as a child, I was exposed to it far more than anyone could have imagined for a little girl living in a country like Canada, born into a life of privilege.
It made me become very introspective about life.
I am a voracious observer of people.
Too often it seems someone passes and after the funeral and all the rose coloured glasses have arrived in the mail and everyone is wearing theirs … the deceased becomes this amazing person they never quite were. Of course we should remember the good things, of course we all deserve the love and memories of our families and friends when we are gone. But when that canonization of the deceased gets in the way of seeing the people who are still there, I find it incredibly sad.
Yes your mother is gone … but your dad is still there and he is a good person too … and lonely … and needs his family more than ever. Yes your partner is gone, but can you see your kids? They want your time now more than ever.
Lately it seems there has been a lot more death than usual for me. I tend to keep watching long after all the casseroles are eaten, the dishes returned and everyone is home watching The Simpsons. I see the loneliness. I see their faces while the people around them wax on about how wonderful the deceased is and how “if they were here …” I hear the unspoken words …. “but I am ….still here …”
It is too late when people are gone to have meaningful relationships. You can put people on shelves and say their connection to you was anything you wanted it to be. It doesn’t make it fact. AND it will always be a poor substitute for real relationships with the people who are actually still alive and present in your life.
For too many people, they may not have died, but their lives ended just the same because they are irrelevant in comparison to the relationships carried on with the deceased.
Take a look around you, too many people parked in their lives, neglected and forgotten.