Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Patty's Death

Couldn't come up with a title to this except "On Death and Dying" and that title is already taken. I did take that book by Elizabeth Kubler Ross out of the library, at one point, but ended up not reading it. It wasn't quite what I expected and it seemed to have so much on people who were dying as opposed to the psychology of people who had lost loved ones. That wasn't my issue at the time. Maybe it was just time constraints, at that particular time, and/or maybe I was just not able to get into the book. It certainly isn't something which would be "escape" reading. Things have changed since I checked that book out of the library. The breast cancer diagnosis. Actually, I can't remember if I titled another blog "death". I don't think so although I know I've talked about it. If I did or if I am repeating myself it is, obviously, because it is something I think about all the time. Even moreso, now, since I have been faced with my own mortality. There is a difference between facing the mortality of a loved one and facing ones own mortality. A big one. I guess I thought I was kind of a pro at death until I got my cancer diagnosis and then I realized this was something else. Something really new for me as I have always been in very good health and so something I never faced. I was really scared, shocked. We know we all die one day but, I guess, I could just say those words but subconsciously believe that I was going to live forever. Or, that it was so very far off in the future that I didn't have to be concerned about it and that it wasn't really going to happen. Already the shock has worn off and although I'm still in the midst of things, have started to feel, as I've gotten further away from the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, that, indeed, I am going to live foever! I know this isn't true but there must be something in the human psyche, I guess you would call it instinct, the will to live, survival, which prevents us from dwelling on the death issue.

Dwelling on death is one thing. Coming to terms with it is another thing and something our society and culture doesn't deal with well. I'm still coming to terms with the loss of my children, my loved ones. Four years later I still don't think my mind can fathom the finality of Kevin's death. That I will never see him again on this earth. What the whole thing really means. That this handsome, young, intelligent, talented young man is no more. One can't destroy consciousness, though. The essence of who Kevin really is. His spirit. Enter faith. Enter belief. I have to believe that Kevin is still alive somewhere, and I do. But that's hard to fathom also, for the human consciousness. Maybe it's easier for some people and, hopefully, I'll get there too, to that level of spiritual development. And I have to have faith that I will see him again and be with him when I die, and I do. I try to think of all of these things, and I do, on a regular basis, but still can't grasp the whole thing. What it all means. Why some are taken so quickly and others are not. Four years later I still don't have the answers but I guess my faith is stronger.

Months ago a young woman I worked with lost her husband, 38 years old. I am still overcome with emotion by loss and death. Perhaps that's part of our society too. Here, I certainly know what loss is. I have dealt with death. Terry was 38, too. And yet I didn't know what to say to her. Everybody has to deal with their loss in their own way. And, yes, it is impossible to take their pain and loss and grief away from them, as much as we would like to. As much as we don't want to see anyone suffer, death is life and so they have to work through their own pain. So, yes, in the past four years I have changed. Hopefully grown as a person as one does when they experience tragedy in their life. My attitudes are different about death and more accepting as that is part of the process, I guess. It would be nice if we could make it easier for those suffering. That doesn't happen too often either. That is our society. People don't know what to say or how to say it and don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable and that includes me as well.

When you lose a loved one, a big part of you does die. We all die a little in many ways all of our lives. We grieve many things, as I've said before. We grieve the loss of a dream, a belief, the loss of a spouse, meaning in this case, divorce. The loss of opportunities, the loss of youth. Well, it's endless, really. Even the loss of a favorite car that just wouldn't go anymore. So, maybe my title, this time wasn't half bad. I have died before, a big part of me with Kevin, with Terry, with Danny and I will die again, the final one, but for now I'm trying to figure out all of this death stuff, Patty's attitudes about death, for whatever it's worth.


Blogger Elaine Williams said...

Beautiful post. I guess we're all trying to figure out the loss and death part as best we can. I wish you the best. elaine

10/29/08 8:46 AM  

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