Sparked by Words

This is the Wrong Post

I planned to write about the majestic launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy. I didn’t want to write this story.

I’m mad. Angry and insane with grief. I want to throw the computer across the room, tear out the plastic cartridges that hold the ink, drag the printer down the street till it shatters into a thousand pieces. Then I wouldn’t be able to tell this story.

This is a story of death. Four people died this past week. Four people I know and love. The doctor, the mother, the judge, and the animal rescuer.

The doctor was the father of my friend. I taught my friend’s children at our temple. She proved to be a parent on whom I could count to bring cookies, to call other parents, to compliment me on the lesson. She made sure her son and daughter were well prepared. We shared confidences. I looked up to her as someone whose low key demeanor belied her inner strength. We spoke often about our dads, each of us proud of these two men who were family physicians – heroes to us. I don’t know about her genetic inheritance but it is evident her father impressed on her a strong work and community ethic. He raised a good person who became a good friend to me. My hero has been gone nearly ten years. Now hers is gone also, a tragic catch-up of circumstances.

The mother lived at the memory care residence where my mother lives. Her daughter is my friend. My friend’s mother bequeathed her remarkable beauty to her daughter, also her grace and composure. My friend’s mother did not speak often but she always looked at me with a smile and sparkling eyes. She and my mom shared meals together, afternoons of music, discussions, or games, and casual walks around the gardens, happy to be in each other’s presence. I’m not certain my mom will realize she’s lost another friend. When you have Alzheimer’s, it’s the blessing of the disease that you cannot remember who your friends are or when they are gone. I’ve been holding my friend’s hand as she remembers her mother before the disease.

The judge was a family friend. Forty years ago, his mother- and father-in-law danced with my parents every week. Thirty years ago I drove his older daughter to Hebrew school with my son. Fifteen years ago he married my older son to the loving woman who bore our two older grandchildren. Ten years ago, his younger daughter became friends with my nephew at the party we threw for my parent’s sixtieth anniversary. Two years later my father, the doctor, died. The calendar marched in step with the moments that annotated our families’ lives. Important moments in three generations were shared as if we were family. In a few days we will bury the judge only a few yards from the doctor’s grave.

It is the final death, of the animal rescuer, K, that is killing me. She died last night after a nearly five year battle with very aggressive cancer. My younger son’s wife, our daughter-in-law, has lost her mother. She treated my son as her son. My younger grandchildren have lost the woman who watched them every Wednesday so my daughter-in-law could work. She got to know our shared grandson, now four, and our shared granddaughter, only two. She underwent surgeries, chemotherapy rounds, and traditional and experimental drug protocols, trying to find a cure, or at least gain more time.

When K was well she ran a wild creature rescue service. She was respected in her community as a fiercely independent spirit with an intellect as bright as lightning. She had many, many friends. She and her husband were active in their church, and lifelong advocates for social justice. I only got to meet her a half dozen times as they live more than a ten hour drive away from us. Not the kind of situation where you can drop in on someone frequently. But I enjoyed every moment I got to be with her.

She struggled. We prayed. I wish she’d had more time – for all of the family, more time. I grieve for my children and grandchildren whose grief is unbearable.

At the end of the evening, a few hours after hearing of the deaths of the judge and the animal rescuer, when I thought I’d shed all the tears my body could muster, we watched NBC’s  This Is Us. It was the episode about the funeral of the father. A TV show, reminding me of four actual upcoming funerals. From the launch of a rocket to the funeral of a television character, the day has collapsed from elation to sorrow. I really didn’t want to write this story. Please imagine something majestic.


A Hopeless Dawn by Frank Bramley, image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Comments on: "This is the Wrong Post" (36)

  1. I liked this only to let you know I’m here. Sending condolences. What a shitty few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no. So sorry to read all of this, Sharon. No words.

    Sending hugs and good vibes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sometimes we have every intention to do something, but life has other plans.

    So sorry to hear about so much death near you. I cannot even imagine how you feel, since I have never experienced such a painful streak.

    I hope everyone rests in peace.

    Be well Sharon. I hope the coming days shower you and yours with a thousand blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautifully expressed thoughts at a very sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jenna Barwin said:

    I’m so sorry about your losses. You were blessed to know these people, and they were blessed to have you as a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Too much death in one week, Shari. Anyone would come away depressed, even uninspired despite SpaceX’s success. There’s a lot of good on the other side. I’m not afraid to go there.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A black, black week for you Sharon. My heart aches for you, as I can see from your words how much these people meant to you. I send you a virtual hug and wish you courage and strength in the coming days and weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel with you! I am so sorry for your losses, this is a hard time. I wish you strength and all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Shari, I’m so sad for you and your family & friends. It is just too much and no wonder your heart and spirit were not up for a post about the space rocket. Warmest hugs to you. You’re in my thoughts. Take care of yourself in the midst of the sorrow. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sharon, I’m so sorry for all the losses you’ve experienced recently. It’s enough to put anyone into shock. (And “This is Us” on top of it all. I’ve been watching that too.) My condolences to you and to all the families who lost loved ones. It’s an achingly rough time for all of you and I send my prayers.
    Please take good care of yourself throughout the grieving process. Sending you a heartfelt hug. ❤️🥀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Shari, my sweet friend,
    I can not begin to imagine . . . 4 beloved friends in one week. The longer we live the more people we lose and it never gets easier. I remember memorizing “No man is an island . . .” when I was still in grade school. The older I get the more I grasp the meaning of that poem and experience the tolling of the bell.
    My condolences and love,

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I´m sure you know, but I I just want to make sure: I didn´t hit the “like” button because I “like” this post but because I want you to know that I´ve read it and feel for you, Sharon. I also used to do this with a dear blogging friend of mine who died six months ago of his cancer and always appreciated the thought, and knew it wasn´t meant as “like”.
    I am so very, very sorry for you and all your friends´families. I can not even begin to try to understand how you must feel – this is just too much for one human being. Please take good care of yourself and surround yourself much as possible with loved ones to keep you company in these dark hours. sending you much love, hugs and strength!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah, for such kind thoughts. Though this long series of deaths of friends has hit me hard, I’m most worried for the immediate families of those who died. My daughter-in-law and son have two very young children who can’t understand where their other grandmother is and why she won’t come back. It’s a heartbreaking situation.

      And I never worry about the “like” button. I understood what you meant.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. All I can say, Shari, is that this, too, will pass. And that I will pray my rosary for your healing for the families hit with unbearable loss and for you. I don’t know why there is so much sorrow or why it comes in unbearable waves like this. I can’t offer you intelligent comfort, not really. I can only tell you I’m sorry that you and those you love are hurting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorrow is part of the gift of life. We wouldn’t appreciate all the wonderful things life grants us if there wasn’t the other side to balance. It was a lot to absorb in one short period, and yes, it will pass. I’m most concerned for my son’s very young children who lost a beloved grandmother and can’t understand where she is. Thank you for your support and your prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m sorry for this terrible week you endured. I’m sorry I’ve just now read your words. I truly hope you’ve found ways to celebrate your loved ones, Shari. Such difficult and tragic losses. My heart hurts for you.
    Sending my love.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. so very sorry, Sharon — you are in my thoughts & prayers — all my best to you


  16. Life always seems to happen like this — never one sorrow at a time. I’m so sorry for you and your family!!!


  17. Big hugs Sharon in your time of loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and the families of those that have gone.


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