Looking out at the Canal flowing past my home, I can see the water as it moves steadily upstream, taking with it fallen branches and debris captured along the way.
Currently there are no pleasure craft, water sport enthusiasts on boogie boards, kayaks or rowboats; not even the ducks who occasionally risk a ride in these precariously overcrowded waters, for a swim upstream with the larger boats.
On the stroke of the hour, all the large boats will huddle under the bridge when it’s raised, for access to the Intracoastal waters traveling out to the ocean. At present all of this activity is temporarily at a standstill, obscured by thoughts which occupy my mind. Thoughts of someone I didn’t expect to lose so suddenly after a period of extreme suffering and terminal illness.
How can we cope when confronted with sudden death?
The emotions that follow the loss of a loved one are difficult to accept. But the chaos that results from trying to rationalize an untimely, in this case sudden death just seems to make the grieving more unbearable. Much has been written about the spiritual and religious aspects at the end of life, with the intent of bringing comfort to those left behind to mourn and deal with the memories but move forward with our loneliness. In the end, all we can be sure of, is that our loved one will never return and we are overcome with unconsolable grief and memories of the times that we shared together.
In my case these are happy memories, filled with love, sincere generosity, humor, caring, trust and adventure. Some were painful for both of us, but we shared them and together we walked that road as well. Looking back, I find no regrets and I’m grateful for the friendship that we had. Perhaps this is all I can ask!
And so, the water continues to flow ——-giving me the choice to move forward as it makes its way along the Intracoastal, taking the large boats with it—–or to stay behind and ponder our conversations, our happy memories filled with the funny, caring and sometimes outrageous situations we sometimes encountered. I decide to linger here a while longer, trying to relive one last time, some of those moments. For me, they are some of the happiest I will ever know.
Eventually, I will have to let go of them and move forward with the water, realizing that I can’t return to the past. The past will recall her suffering and that is a chapter I would want to help her close.