Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Sudden Revisited

I wrote this bit almost exactly a year before John passed;


A political writer blogs on the same day of his wife's unexpected, during her sleep, death.

Life ends, but certainly you don't expect your 41 year old wife to die suddenly in the middle of the night. The same was true when my sister died suddenly at age 38. I have a hard time visualizing memories of her now. That was about 25 years ago. I do know that she was one of those people that never had a negative thing to say about anything.

It's awkward.. the whole blogging thing, and what you share and what you don't. John nearly died a couple years ago (a fact he seems to forget sometimes) when he had a heart attack. He was at home, as was I as I was working - and on a business call. I basically blew him off when he was saying he wasn't feeling well. He had his assistant take him to the Baylor heart hospital ER, which isn't all that far from the house.

There's two reasons why I didn't take it seriously. First, John can sometimes be.. dramatic, at least as it appears to me. Second, you never think anybody you care about actually has a serious problem. It's denial as a self-defense mechanism.

Had the outcome been different, I'm not sure I'd be posting blog entries about it.. because that seems.. bad form. But writers write, and the blog has become a significant writing medium for a lot of people - me included.

It can be incredibly depressing to be inundated with other people's sorrows, but sometimes it's necessary. We need a reminder of our mortality, and take it seriously.

Virtually everyone has tragic stories of loss. It's rarely talked about. Maybe it's a cultural thing. Many times they are the very worst possible thing that could happen, and people are supposed to go on living afterwards. How do you do the practical things that need to get done? How do you tell a young daughter what happened? How do you accomplish everything that needs to get done when you are dazed, as if smashed in the head with a baseball bat? How do you figure out how to do things that the other has always done?

I don't think most people prepare for the unthinkable. Maybe it's better not to.

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