Already May

It’s already May. How did it get here so fast? How is it already nearly half over? Time is going too fast.

We are almost at a year without Kira. An entire year. I think about her often. She was living her last days a year ago. Yet, she had no idea.  She was hoping the man she loved would change but at the same time gaining the courage to leave. Gaining the courage to say she was better than what he was doing to her. Yet, those words ultimately ended in her life. It isn’t fair today. It wasn’t fair that day. It will never be fair. Why couldn’t he have just taken her own life? Why did he have to take her with him? I wonder this often. I hate him immensely for his choice. A choice that can never be fixed.

Yesterday, my friend celebrated her daughter’s first birthday while grieving a year without her son. Two babies she planned for and wanted so badly. Only one born alive. A bittersweet moment. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. That a year ago I was sitting in a hospital, quietly holding her sweet baby boy while she waited for the funeral home to take him away. He never got to take a breath in this world. Experience his family’s love from the outside. Play with his twin sister. A nearly full-term baby, born asleep. A heartbeat lost minutes before an emergency delivery. So many what-ifs. Just a few minutes faster and she’d have been blessed with two beautiful living babies. Again, it isn’t fair.

My other friend lost her husband Monday. A sudden stroke Sunday and two life flights later she received the news he’d only have 72 hours. He wasn’t coming back from that. He wasn’t responsive. There was nothing left to do. He made it less than 12 hours from that diagnosis before he slipped away. I spent yesterday answering random texts to help with details – dogs, hotel rooms, little things. I’m sad for her. I haven’t gotten to see her due to the long drive back from the hospital and she stayed until arrangements were made for his body. Things hadn’t been great there but they were trying to make it better. I imagine the regrets, the loss, the pain. It’s going to be a long road for her. He wasn’t old enough to pass away. Absolutely unexpected.

Last week I was invited to record Brenda’s college graduation. All that time. All that work. Just to pass away before you get to receive your own, hard earned diploma. Of course I went. They did a good job. Reserved seats for us. An empty seat with her cap and gown for her in the students seating. Her son and other kids, mom and sister walked to accept her diploma. That hurt to see. She too should be her. Stupid COVID. Stupid unfair world.

If I’ve realized anything in the last year – Age doesn’t matter to death. Death doesn’t discriminate. Whether your a 34 week baby, 9 months old, 18, 30, 34, 49 or in your 50s death will swoop in and take you just like you’re 100. Leaving a trail of destruction and heartache. Leaving pain and sorrow. Memories remain. Unfinished dreams. Broken promises.

It’s everywhere.

Lately I wonder if I have many feelings left. I’m tired of crying. It’s just numbing. So much death and sorrow lately. Hard to watch. Hard to live. I kind of sit here thinking – What’s next? Who’s next? We all know it’s coming. There will always be someone dying. Always.

With that – hospice never got my volunteer stuff emailed to me. She was having some kind of issue. I should follow up on that tomorrow. Why? Why would I want to? I’m surrounded by death it seems. Why seek out more? Why not? There are people out there who don’t have much or anyone. They don’t have friends/family. Our healthcare workers are stretched thin. There just isn’t enough hours in the day to meet everyone’s needs. Not enough social workers. Not enough trained personnel. Why not help fill that gap? Why not put my skills, knowledge, compassion and empathy to work?

I might as well funnel my feelings towards something meaningful. Helpful. And oddly I seem to function well in this setting. Offering support, assistance, guidance without breaking down in the moment. So, I’m going for it. I’ll meet some amazing people in this field. People I’ll be lucky to have known. Even for a short time.

My goal remains to become a Death Doula. It’s on my list. Baby steps. Though, I wish death never existed. I wish my friends were still here. I wish we didn’t have to miss others so deeply forever.

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