Posted by: Kathy | May 4, 2010

Life Just Goes On

Every day someone dies. According to information I found on the Web, over 6,700 people die each day in the United States, and about 1,500 of these deaths are caused by cancer. In church on Sunday, two people requested prayers for someone who has cancer. One of those prayer requests was for a person with pancreatic cancer. My heart skipped a beat when I heard those two words, and I then I felt the familiar pain of loss.

When I was about 13 years old, my great, great aunt passed away at age 94. Her death wasn’t a huge surprise, given her age, but she was the first family member I lost and it was a shock to me. I was named after her, I saw her frequently and I was close to her. What came as even more of a shock to me is how life just went on. I remember my mom talking about going to tennis lessons and other stuff that day. I think I even asked her how she could be thinking of tennis lessons when Aunt Katie had just died. At that time, I didn’t understand the need for life to go on.

No matter who dies, life around us continues. But for the people who just lost a loved one, life seems to stop in a way. And it’s definitely no longer the same. When my mom died, everything in my heart and mind came to a sudden halt. She was gone and there was nothing I could do to bring her back. Although I knew that my mom’s death was near and even prayed for the Lord to take her home so that she could be at peace and free from pancreatic cancer, her death was like hitting a brick wall. I was dazed. I couldn’t go forward. I didn’t know what to do.

Yet, parts of my life had to gone on immediately. I needed to tell my kids about my mom’s death. We still had to go about the routines of daily life – school, meals, our bedtime ritual, even taking my cat to the vet. Life would not let me stay still in the shock of losing my mom. The life of my kids had to move forward, and for their sakes, I had to continue with their routines. I needed to do what was best for my family and couldn’t stay trapped in the shock of loss.

Every day, several times a day, my life comes to a small stop as I think of my mom. I’ll see or hear something that reminds me of her, or her face will cross my mind, my heart. And I stop for a moment to remember her, to miss her, to love her, and to honor her. But then my life goes on, just the way my mom would want it to.

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Responses

  1. So true. Life does go on and yet there are days when life seems to stop more than others. One day about a year after my mother’s death, I saw a woman who looked very similar to her as I walked out of the gym. Without thinking, I followed her down the street for about 1 or 2 blocks until I snapped back to reality. It is during moments like these that life stops – even if just for a moment. I get lost in a time when my mother was alive and I didn’t understand the intense sadness that comes with the loss of a parent.


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