The Flickering Light – Healing When the Light Goes Out
Though prepared, when death comes, it is still a surprise and unreal moment for the living. When someone is old and sick it is a bit more acceptable and a bit easier to process. When it is someone young and sudden and tragic, there is no acceptance and the process must be grueling for the families and friends. Grief is grief no matter how you measure it or what you call it. Pain is pain and we all experience it differently.
Much like “the long good-bye” common among Alzheimer’s patients, the dying process for some is a long good-bye as well. It may be more of a physical loss and physical strain than a mental or emotional loss. It is still a process and it is still difficult. Speaking only for the living and not the dying, seeing someone gradually fade away and waste away and revert back to infantile needs is nothing short of humbling.
So when the time comes and the person dies, it is a shock. After years of gradual failings and years of perking back up time and time again, it is unreal to realize that the time has finally come and the person is actually gone. They are dead. Never to talk or walk or love again as we once knew it and them.
We like to think we are good with this and intellectually we probably are. The reality is that most people are incredibly uncomfortable talking about death and dying and will use euphemisms to describe it if the topic is addressed at all. Many prefer to say things like: “he passed” or “she as crossed over” or “she is better now” or “he is finally at peace”. Though they may seem comforting and more kind, the cruel reality is none of this helps those who witnessed the slow decline and love the person through it.