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Old 04-13-2002, 01:13 AM   #1
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life is beautiful

ya...

it really is. and to see a life come to an end is a real tragic thing. and i hardly knew the guy....

today i went to my great uncles funeral. doesnt sound like id know him well, but i did grow up around him at the farm alot when i was younger.

to see family members grieving is really hard, and the thought of KNOWING ALL OF US WILL GO ONE DAY doesnt really help.

there are few things in this lifetime that will be more difficult for me to handle that to watch a coffin slowly lowered into the hole dug up for it. with such a beautiful sky, add warm temperatures (22 celcius by FAR the warmest its been here since last year) and the scene makes sense...kinda. the gentleman has passed on, and is now seeing for himself what the kingdom of God has to offer. quite the thought.

it was my grandpas brother who had died, although i guess that does go without saying. ben had been bowling on monday like he always does (also an avid golfer...though when the ball wouldnt go where he planned, hed laugh. not curse.) anyway, on monday he was sitting down at one of the seats, and was conversing with someone. the other person wondered why his partner was no longer responding. so he turned around and looked, and well, the rest is history.

ben had troubles with his heart since birth. an interesting fact, he was just the SECOND personin manitoba to have an open-heart surgery. he recovered from it nicely, but encountered several other things that attempted on marginalizing his life, but he held strong until the end.

all of my grandparents are alive and well, same goes for other family and cousins, as i am the oldest on both sides. those of you who have talked to me about the issue of mortality, know how much this weighs on my mind. i fear a major breakdown when someone dear to me dies. i have an incredibly strong relationship/friendship with my family, and particularly one set of grandparents. reality is a hard bullet to bite.

in time of mourning though, its good to know, and i say this not subjectively, but as a FACT because i will not play politics with any force or to be politically correct since it is KNOWN to me that heaven is for the taking for those of us that want it. ive been raised a christian, and instances like this remind me of how precious life truly is and how we should be prepared in whatever way we think we should, for the end.

i was greatly effected by todays events. i cant say i was really expecting to be this moved. it really hurts to see your family and a lot of close friends lose their grandpa, friend, and ofcourse beloved wife.

thoughts? please keep any sympathies to a minimum as i did not really know the individual that well. thank you.


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Old 04-13-2002, 01:48 AM   #2
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i know how that is bear, thnx for posting.
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Old 04-13-2002, 01:49 AM   #3
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I think family is probably the greatest asset one could have. I really was taking my family for granted at one point last year when my grandmother woke me up: "You have six people (including her) in there who would lay down their lives for you, now shape up." (Both sets of grandparents are alive and well, and my parents were in the room.)

Wow, well I felt like dirt, but lower. Family goes thicker than blood. I was the only one of all my close high school friends that still had both sets of grandparents alive. After re-evaluating, I decided to try and make it a point to keep in touch with my grandparents and family at least a couple times during the week. I might be away, but their support is felt right here. Telling people "I love you" is really important to me.

I think the hardest time with my any of grandparents came when my grandfather (mom's side) had extensive surgery. There was a chance he wouldn't come-to from being put under. He called me to tell me how much he had enjoyed seeing me accomplish in life so far. He also wished me a happy graduation. All I could think of saying was, "You can tell me that after the ceremony." After that I had to hang up, it was difficult as we were both faltering into tears. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to have such people in my life, and in the after.

Stay safe tonight.
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Old 04-13-2002, 01:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting this, Hent The Power Bear. I like threads like this.

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Old 04-13-2002, 02:21 AM   #5
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thank you all, wanton particularly for your story.
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Old 04-13-2002, 09:19 AM   #6
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[This message has been edited by foray (edited 04-17-2002).]
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Old 04-16-2002, 06:09 AM   #7
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hi bear --
I never got to reply directly to you before, and I'm glad of it now. Been thinkin' on your post for two days.

Life IS beautiful. Life, as we know it, is... eternal. The throb of living, of consciousness, finds a form in a body and an ego, but has only temporary need of them...
Quote:
those of you who have talked to me about the issue of mortality, know how much this weighs on my mind. i fear a major breakdown when someone dear to me dies.
that's the part that resonated the most with me. I could say lots about what I've learned of eternity from Buddhism, but the real lesson was much less theoretical: my dad and I were always close, despite peripheral family estrangements in later years. I didn't see him regularly, but our mutual affection never dimmed. Last fall, as I've written elsewhere, he became ill, mute (from a stroke), and died within weeks. He was the first person close to me that I lost. In recent years, as he aged, I had this hunch I'd fall apart when he died. Never occurred to me that I'd be watching him recede so slowly from this world. That was a whole other trip.
But something even more extraordinary awaited me... I share this because I do trust how earnestly you pursue these questions, bear, and I trust this forum's community. The hospital called me to say my father was failing, and that the family should come quickly if they wanted to be with him one last time. Hell, I was a whole hour away from the hospital, and I'd just got home from there, watching his fitful sleep. But I phoned my siblings, who were nearer, and then drove like a bat out of hell in driving rain at midnight, raced through a silent hospital up to palliative care, only to see my sister at the end of the hall shaking her head at me. He'd died before I left my house. Oh, the suffocating silence...

"He still in there?" I asked, gesturing toward his room. She nodded. I crossed myself, and peered inside. God rest him... My dad was a funny, fun-loving, mischeivous guy, a grampa with a twinkle in his eye, a dad who, laughing at our antics, would always calm my mom's fussing and fretting. He lived for joy -- not mere happiness, but joy. I looked upon his body. It looked like him, but...like a facsimile of him. It looked like a pressed suit, laid out neatly on a bed by a traveller who'd decided not to bring it after all. This suit of Dad was... so utterly empty of him!

Until that moment, I believed that the Dad I loved and learned from was that face, that thick, sturdy shape, those eyes creased in fleshy laughter. But there it lay, Dad-less. I won't lie about the pain, which hit me like a tsunami after the funeral. But you know... it's clean pain, somehow. "Loss" is an experience of attachment, and yes, the ego-self is attached to those we love, their roles, their mortal incarnations. But deeper than that attachment, if we are focussed enough to look, is a connection in spirit. (I call that love.) I could "console" myself with my father's eternal soul -- but is it any different than who I loved all along?? My ego-self wants my dad back, wants the sound of his voice and his hugs. But my grasp of eternity... fumbling as it is, recognizes no loss. So I let my ego grieve, and I rail against what it will never know again. But "I" refuse to be limited to "it." This eternal "I" has lost nothing.

Christ lived and died and lives in eternity to prove just that, for us Christians. Think on it, bear: do you live -- truly -- in time, or in eternity? (the question is not a glib one, it takes discipline and ongoing dialogue with God.) Pain is of time. It hurts, yes, but it passes... through the spirit like rain through soil. I don't know if this will speak directly to your concerns, but I only hope it offers some illumination -- the only light I had on that road was God, so whatever there is, is His. Amen.

Deb D

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Old 04-16-2002, 06:14 PM   #8
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Deb, you made me tear up. That was wonderful. Thank you.

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Old 04-16-2002, 09:42 PM   #9
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"swirling round with this familiar parable
spinning, weaving round each new experience
recognize this as a holy gift
and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing"


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Old 04-17-2002, 12:18 AM   #10
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hey, thanks everyone, you all said some very nice things.

and true, thanks for taking the time write that all out. i loved your bit on time and eternity, very fresh and new. ive never looked at it that way!
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Old 04-20-2002, 12:52 AM   #11
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foray,
I noticed. It might be impolite to ask why, but I will say, I just hope everything's all right.

namaste,
Deb D
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Old 04-28-2002, 02:00 PM   #12
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bear I saw this thread title awhile ago and I've been wanting to read it for some time. There is nothing harder than watching loved ones grieve around you, and being entirely helpless. I still remember the time I first saw one of my classmates dead freshman year, after he shot himself by accident. I remember being stunned by the clay-like figure that wasn't him anymore, but even more so I remember the pain in his brother's, mom's and dad's eyes, and I recall feeling so horribly guilty for even being there. I felt like, my God, this doesn't affect me the way it affects them, I have no right to be here, it seemed almost sacreligious.
Seeing things like this only makes us reflect on the ultimate fact of life, which is mortality. I guess we all find our own ways of dealing with it, but the pain is something we just can't escape, and only time seems to heal.
Deb and wannabe thank you for your stories.

bear, life as we know it here is a pure miracle, but it is my belief that it is only one part of a much bigger and more eternal miracle. I'm thinking of you.

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