Saturday, November 3, 2007

To a dear friend on the loss of a parent


I ran into an old friend last night -- unfortunately we're both too busy to keep in touch with each other as much as we should -- who shared one of the curses of being middle-age: the loss of a parent; in fact, the loss of the second parent.
This is a road we'll all walk down eventually but it doesn't make the journey any easier.
The loss of a first parent is bad enough but somehow the fact the other parent is still around sometimes cushions the blow.
When the second parent dies we become, as one priest put it to me, orphans.
Been there. Done that. Not fun.
Each day we lose more and more members of "The Greatest Generation." That alone is sad. When it hits home it's worse.
My friend, you really are in my prayers. I can tell you that you don't really "get over it" as some might encourage. And that's the way it should be.
If our parents meant something to us, it's only natural that there will be a void resulting from their loss. There are times when that void will be a source of sadness. Sometimes it will be a fountain of fond memories. Each and every feeling is real and the fact we do feel is a tribute to their memory.
Nonetheless, as I often say, "It's hard to jump up and shout 'Praise the Lord' when you feel like you've just been kicked in the gut."
Peace, dear friend. And to everyone else, too.

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