Monday, December 6, 2010

the soup of loss, honor and moving on

We were preparing lunch in the boy scouts when a friend arrived in a grand flourish. He exploded from his family car and his right hand shot in the air as if he was answering the question ‘who wants to live today?’. He had brought Scottish Bangers to us. He had just discovered they were available at Foodland and had not had them since he had lived in Australia years ago. Apparently bangers should be fried in a pan and served on the side of something. We cut them up and put them in soup. My friend nearly wept at the misuse of them all through lunch. He made such a dramatic fuss that our scoutmaster finally shouted to him that the bangers were in the soup and there was nothing he could do about it and eat them and quit crying.
Sometimes we lose something before our plans are fulfilled. It can devastate us.
When I die I really hope that I am remembered as a great father and grandfather. I hope they go on and on about the stories I told and what an inspiration I was. But none of this is on my friends or children to do. If I want to be remembered that way it is entirely up to me. Once I am gone I have no say what happens. They can cremate me and scatter me in the ocean, sell my corpse to science or put me in soup. I don’t care, I’ll be gone.
When someone loses a family member or loved one or friend they can go to all kind of measures to preserve their memory. Crosses on the side of the road, stickers on the back window of cars, and tattoos are just a few examples.
Soldiers can be honored to help their comrades in arms go on. Families can receive closure from burials and memorials. Senseless deaths can be brought to the attention of others to perhaps prevent it happening again.
People can do what they feel is right as long as they don’t deceive themselves. Anything they do to honor the lost is not for the lost it is for them. It is those left behind that miss their loved one. It is those who grieve who have the pain. The one who is lost is not benefited by anything. They are gone.
Naomi died eight years ago tomorrow and yes I still miss her and of course I wish she was still here. But it doesn’t honor her to dwell on her loss or wallow in misery or use the lost child card playing the game of life. But more that dishonoring her memory is this, I have to move on. This is my life now and today with no Naomi. I have other things to care more about.
Sometimes we lose something or someone before our plans (like walking her down the aisle at her wedding) are fulfilled. It can devastate us. But we can and must heal and move on.

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