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#284009 03/25/08 03:39 AM
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Etnick Offline OP
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I have to vent. A good friend of mine died 9 months ago. I've lost all my grandparents, yet I've never felt such a void as when my good friend passed.

I've thought about him everyday since he was buried. He basically died a miserable death so the suffering is done, but what about the people left? Both of my parents are still alive. (I can't even fathom how I'll handle their passing) eek

I dunno...I've had a good life so far with a minimum of drama and no tragedy but I guess reality is setting in.

Anyone care to offer a little advice?


Etnick #284040 03/25/08 11:16 AM
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Losing a grandparent, losing a friend and losing a parent are all completely different. One expects to lose grandparents; they're two generations older.

While one expects to lose parents, it's still a difficult thing; how and why will vary based on circumstances of death and your relationship with your parents. It doesn't matter if they're not even old (my dad at 67) or have lived a full life (my friends dad at 86), they're still your parents and their loss will change your world in unpredictable ways. Sadness will improve over time but strike seemingly at random.

Friends are more often of the same generation, so are expected to live as long as we do. When they violate that rule, it's more of a shock than when those from older generations die. If your friend suffered, then he's in a better place aand you have to focus on that. His earthly suffering is no more.

What helped me when my dad died, might help you in htis instance my mom and I made a list of all the medical things he didn't want to do and no longer had to do. From the least thing (taking a "banana pill" for the potassium), to not getting a new defibrillator, with many medical appointments in between. It seemed better after that. While I don't know the circumstances of your friends passing, you alluded to "miserable death" and suffering; focus on the lack of suffering and misery he's no longer suffering. Whatever the bad things were, they're no more.

I'm a cemetery girl from way back, and bring flowers or holly on typical days, such as Easter when it's later, Memorial Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and his birthday, but also at random other times, mostly during more temperate weather as I'm in MN.

Nan #284045 03/25/08 12:22 PM
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Thanks Nan. You have shed a new light on the whole situation. Sorry to hear that your father was only 67 when he passed. That's just too young in this day and age. My friend that passed was 73. He was actually my fathers best friend. They were partners on the police force in the 1960's. However, I was close with him also, having taken a few trips to Nashville with him and his son, and draining more than a few brewskis at local haunts.

I guess I miss the good times, but like everyone says, life goes on.

Etnick #284050 03/25/08 01:25 PM
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I suggest reading Romans 8:28-39. This passage has often given me comfort in times of sadness.

Etnick #284069 03/25/08 04:42 PM
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Etnick:

Christ is Risen!! Indeed He is Risen!!

I suggest 1 Thessalonians 4. I've got a few other favorites and I'll get the exact citations and send them to you.

I heard a suggestion that death is a direct test of our faith. It's one thing to be catechised; another to attend Church services; but altogether different to face the fact that everything that we are taught and everything that we do points to the day when we, too, will pass through the Veil.

St. Paul suggests that if our faith in Christ is for this world alone, then we are the most pitiful of men. Take a look back at the thread entitled "Suffering is Our Path to Glory." Father
Matta suggests we were born to suffer, as Christ was born to suffer. If that's so, we really are the most pitiful of God's creatures. Because if all we have is suffering here and nothing else to look forward to or no reason for our being except to spend a fixed number of years here doing nothing but suffering, then we're all seriously deranged.

It isn't easy to let go. In fact, speaking from my own experience--and I'm the worst at relatives' and friends' funerals--death in the family or of a friend is like going a few rounds with a prize fighter. It leaves me drained. Some years ago, we had a death in my family on average every three months for about 13 months. I was in what I call a "green fog" all that time and even today cannot remember anything from those months. Each time I thought I was beginning to return to some semblance of normality the phone would ring and someone else would have died.

But it also gets me back on track. I tend, as I imagine other human beings do, to get into these "ruts" where things get easy going and I forget what the ultimate goal of my life is. Lent helps and other periods when we're called to stop, slow down, and reflect. But we tend to think our family gatherings and regular outings with friends to "drain . . . a few brewskis" is what should go on forever. I guess it's because we don't realize that the years are flying by and that we are no longer 16 or 21 or 25 or whatever age we felt at the top of our game. And suddenly people start to "answer the call" while we sit wondering how that's possible when we still feel that younger age.

I guess I've been so many years "on the edge of the grave" that each time I wonder if I'm on track myself; if I've even begun to be a true follower of Christ--am I on the surface; am I someone who "knows of" Christ rather than "knows" Him? Am I listening for that "still, small Voice" that I should be listening to and that will some day call me to account for every thought, word, and deed?

To me the best gift has been the ability and the time to sit and just listen to people who need to pour out their pain over the loss of a loved one. And that gift God gives me every day.

BOB

Etnick #284122 03/26/08 03:56 AM
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Pray much for the repose and eternal felicity of your friend and resolve to not waste a precious moment of your brief but precious life. Praying for the dead is the greatest charity and the greatest honor we can pay them is living our lives to the fullest.


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