Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thoughts on Life and Death

What a heavy title, but I find myself grappling with heavy thoughts now that I'm home after 2 weeks of a deathwatch. My mother-in-law, Ethel Vifginia Curtis Skross, passed quietly away last Friday. She defied all medical predictions and lived 2 weeks longer than anyone thought she could. It gave her children and their spouses lots of time to say goodbye.

She was part of my life for almost 50 years. Now she's gone. There is always a time of disconnect. It's like a bruise, You can ignore the ache for periods, but then you bump into a reminder and the hurt throbs. I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that she won't be sitting in her chair the next time I journey to my sister-in-law's home.

The last 2 weeks have taught me that the act of dying is much like having a baby - each body has its own time frame. My mother-in-law was a strong woman. Her body was reluctant to stop functioning. On the one hand we all wished her peace, but we all were thankful for the extra days to say goodbye. We're left with some good memories of shared times. I like to think that she heard the reminiscing and expressions of love.

Now I'm back to my life here. Thinking about my life. Wondering how well I'm living. Am I using what she taught me? Would she be proud of me?

1 comment:

susan said...

dearest Ellie -
I am so sorry for your loss. for Ron and family. waiting for a life to end is a terrible process. but as you learned it is also a time to be able to say goodbye. give comfort. share.
now that you are home and in a reflective mood, know what a blessed life you lead and share. I am proud and grateful and happy to call you my friend. you have given me so much - and continue to do so each and every day. whether over a plate of nachos or via the internet through your blog. I love the time we spend together.