Last Rites and Wrongs…

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        I was thinking about friends, relatives and connectedness to others today.  Charles Bukowski wrote, “If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.”  It made me think of who I wanted to see while in the hospital when I didn’t think I would make it and vice versa…who wanted to see me and say goodbye.  I mean honestly think about it…I’m not talking about the people you feel like you are obligated to say you wanted to see to say goodbye to in person, but the people you really truly wanted to just see their face just one more time.  And, I don’t mean this in a romantic way necessarily, I mean it could be, but I was just thinking broadly. 

      In my case, the people that visited me once or twice really surprised me – I loved seeing them and I loved the surprise that those people thought to come visit.  Some of them made our connection stronger by visiting and saying what they did.  And some made our connection incredibly stronger and I will cherish that forever.  I’m not going to name or shame anyone in this post by the way – no one should do that, but it shouldn’t stop you from expressing your thoughts and feelings.  I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad.  But it did surprise me who came.  It also surprised me who didn’t visit.  And again, keep in mind I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad.  I think it is only natural for someone to think of these things after being in my situation.  So, thinking about this made me make a list of those that I would be ok with saying goodbye from a distance (via facebook, email or just that they heard I had passed from friends of friends etc.) and who I would be desperately clinging to the side of their bedrails trying to memorize everything about them and our memories before they were taken away and we were separated by death.  I know some people deal with grief and saying goodbye in very different ways.  One of my best friends, whom I love and highly respect, refuses to go to funerals or to say goodbye to their relatives even because they wanted to remember them how they were when they were well and in good spirits.  I went to his grandmother’s funeral who raised him partly and even then he would not attend the service and generally did not want to be there to ruin his memories of her.  And that makes sense to me too.  Saying the last goodbye is a complicated and hard thing to do and is different for everyone, there should be no judgement from anyone about how one grieves. 

      In another instance of this, it has also surprised me what people have said to me in private regarding how they felt when they found out the seriousness of my condition and my subsequent recovery from imminent death for now.  Since writing my blog several people have shared with me what they wanted to have said to me to say goodbye as they couldn’t bring themselves to be there in person for one reason or another.  It’s been a wonderful experience so far, some very strange and unique, but wonderful nonetheless…but then again most people have only said nice things to me thankfully. 

      So I wanted to put it out there for ya’ll.  Who would you want to see if you were on your deathbed and who could you honestly do without seeing in person before you left this world?  And after thinking about that, who would you look forward to the most in seeing in heaven/afterlife?  Also, who are you scared to see or not want to see there as well? 

     I made the same list…and just a suggestion, make sure the people you want by your bedside at the end know that now and do what you can to not add to the list of those you are scared to see after you’ve said your goodbye lol.  Assholes need kindness too.


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