I have been reading a few posts recently regarding the deaths of loved mothers, fathers, siblings or close friends.
I have a problem with death, more precisely with grief and grieving. I don't do it. My shrink from way back wanted to know what I did do about death. This was before my father and my son died so I hadn't had those dramas to tell her.
There are rooms in my mind, down the stairs towards the dungeons but up a level. The dungeons are where the slings and arrows of outrageous hurts are locked up. Behind the other doors hide the deaths of people I knew and loved in varying degrees. Occasionally I'll open a door and have a look around at the memories and then I'll wander back up the stairs and continue on with life.
To mothers, the death of a child is the most horrific thing imaginable. My fear was that my son would die before he experienced the world around him. When he died at 24, he'd packed more experience into those years than anyone else I know. I cried when I heard about his accident and then I didn't cry again for nearly ten years.
All of the deaths in my life have been gradual. No-one has ever suddenly stopped being, without my having been able to say goodbye. And then there is my, perhaps unreasonable, belief that we have all been here before and we will be here again and so we never really pass away completely. I believe I'll see them all again, not sitting on some cloud in some imaginary heaven but here, in someone's else's eyes I'll recognise for a moment something familiar.
I've seen a grief counsellor. I had contact with The Compassionate Friends, a group that concentrates on helping parents with the death of a child, of any age. They helped by telling me that I was always the strong one, the rock against which grieving family leaned. So I put death down in those little rooms with the strong doors and never grieved.
I'm not without compassion, feelings or empathy. I am shocked by cruelty in all its forms. Death is still tragic, I just don't grieve.