Death is a reality at our age. Not only are we facing it ourselves, but we lose friends and family regularly. Even though we are expecting it, it can be a shock, But I think of us as prepared.
A niece has been close to death this week. Life supports were removed because of a lack of brain activity, but she continues to breathe. I have been in contact with her siblings and have been waiting for a call or text.
J and J have been close family friends. Our children went to high school together and we remained in contact through the years. We know their children. We know their grandchildren. (A teenage grandson committed suicide in their barn a.year ago.) And we certainly know their situation.
She has been ill for many years, fighting diabetes and osteoporosis and their related problems with varying degrees of success. Although he is 88 years old and dealing with severe pain from neuropathy he has continued to work part time while caring lovingly for his bedridden wife. He used to say, “When I can’t work anymore and take care of J, I’m done.”
So did they have a pact? Or did he know that she could not survive without him? No matter – he shot her and turned the gun on himself – but the suicide was unsuccessful. Her death is a shock. And at this point another death would be welcome. I can’t imagine the dear man spending the rest of his life living with this outcome and serving a prison sentence.
It is left to their family and friends to deal with this. For the grandchildren to miss their grandmother and grandfather who were an Integral part of each day of their lives. His children, having not really recovered from the death of the young man, must now cope with the death of their mother and the legal ramifications for their father. My family and friends grieve and try to comfort one another for the loss of dear friends.
A poignant if difficult to understand story.
Heartbreaking and real. Strange to live with the memory of them both. We can but hold them in our hearts. (And wish that society provided a better cure for desperation.)