Death and Grief – putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.


Pat in her journal beginning August 1st, 2015 describes feeling something that sounds a lot like the grief journey I have been on since her death:

  • All the same, (and for several days now) I felt odd, at a loss, purposeless, rather empty, as if nothing I was doing was worth anything or had any meaning. There seems to be some anxiety or frustration driving me, but I’m not sure what it is. … And more and more I dislike growing old. Don’t know if all that creates this emptiness and anxiety.
  • I’m so bad at dealing with people that I can’t think of anything useful I could do. Perhaps that is at the bottom of my long-time, intermittent depression: the knowledge of my own inadequacy. I am really no good to anybody, and so I spend my life in the most mundane chores and trivial diversions.
  • Today I felt, on the whole, Cheerful and upbeat. Yet, just as yesterday there was no obvious cause. Could it all come down to brain chemicals? Dehydration?
  • Forgot to mention an odd moment last Sunday, at the end of Morning Song. Fr. Neil Carver (a good sermon as usual) who gives full weight to the verbal elements of the service, had recessed after the choir to the back of the church at the end, and had just pronounced the usual farewell benediction. Then he said “Death does not mean that a light has gone out. It means that a lantern has been extinguished because the dawn has come.” I still don’t know why that little epigram hit me so hard, but it did. It was almost like a fist to the stomach. I gasped outward, then began to shed tears. Controlled it and got underway…. Maybe I’ve been brooding on death too much lately (usually somewhere in the back of my mind). Maybe the Morning Song, which was as lovely musically and liturgically as usual and had a better homily than usual, had left me in a receptive state. No idea, really.
  • It does worry me a bit that we have another 19 ½ months before our trip. So much can happen in nearly two years. I’ll be 71, Eric will be 74! Please God, keep us both in good health until after our trip.
  • Have evidently grown even more solitary over the years.
  • Taking stock of myself Jan 1, 2016: left knee very sore and stiff, right ear still blocked, overall rather tired (up late last night), plagued by cravings for carbs and wine, riddled with self-doubt. Heart gives the occasional twinge but maybe not a major factor. Despite all that, I feel cheerful.
  • So this is the last day of my sixties. Tomorrow I’ll be 70 and then I’ll be really old. My 20s seem just a blink away and now suddenly, this. I wonder if I have another decade left, and if so, what sort of shape I’ll be by the end of it?
  • Wed Nov 16, 2016: To my great surprise, I am dying. … Huge thud of astonishment – my family usually all die of heart disease! I haven’t really recovered – perhaps never will. To Eric it was a terrible blow. Maybe he’ll never recover, either…. I hate the fact that I am making several loved people unhappy…. So much I will lose. The beauty of the Earth, of the skies, of colours. I see it all turning and turning to darkness. So much loss, such pain. Please God, please please, please.
  • Last night was not very good. I felt okay, physically but very lonely and bleak. I know there are going to be more nights like this. Night was never my best time -it was drenched with a sense of being cold and alone and belonging no where.
  • But Friday was a great day because I got to go home…. Thing is moving faster than expected. Which is good in one way, but I have a lot of things I want to do before it races to a finish.

 

About thebows99krug

Hi, I am Eric, a retired librarian. I was born in St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto and raised in the downtown area north of the Art Gallery, south of the University of Toronto. I went to Orde Street Public School, Harbord C.I., University College at the UofT and the UofT's Faculty of Library and Information Science. I meet my wife Patricia at FLIS; our first date was on November 15, 1968. We were engaged February 14, 1969 and married on June 21, 1969. Our family includes son, James; daughter-in-law, Erin; (both writers), grand-daughters, Vivian and Eleanor; and Sonic, a very friendly ginger tabby. My beloved wife died January 7, 2017 and our 19 year old cat Pooka died January 8, 2017. I would like to hear from any other class of '63 alumni of Harbord C.I. and class of '67 alumni of UofT's University College.
This entry was posted in Bow, Patricia A., Family, Grief, Love, Marriage, Religion - Anglican, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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