Death isn't an easy subject and one that most people like to avoid like myself, however it is a topic that is inevitable and unfortunately you will experience (more for some than others) in your life. I personally have become so immune to death because I've lost so many people around me but the one that still effects me to this day and I still haven't healed over was my father. I believe the greatest loss anyone can experience is a parent unless god forbid you have a child and you have to endure a loss of a child.
Recently I was posed with a situation that really made me think . . . not that any of these two situations are ideal but if you were posed with it which one would you feel better about. If you had a loved one specifically a parent would you find it easier to cope if their death was sudden or if you were given a timeline on their life expectancy?
I know you're probably thinking what an odd scenario and why the hell would I be thinking about something like this? Again neither scenario is ideal but it's life and we all are going to be in a situation like this one day.
I ask this question because well... gosh even writing about this topic is hard for me and I will assure you will have to stop many times to have little breakdowns because I don't talk about my father's death or my feelings around it with my closest friends and now I'm putting on here for everyone and anyone to read. I ask the question because for me my father's death was sudden and when I mean sudden I mean I was away out of state on Spring Break when I was 12 and I received a phone call from my mother calling me with the news that would change my life for the rest of my life. I literally dropped the phone and was frozen I didn't know if I should cry, throw up, or run away I was literally shocked into silence. I'm an only child and I never imagined my life without one of my parents I mean that just didn't happen it couldn't happen but it was happening and it was happening to me.
I remembered a couple months prior to Spring Break I was in my 1st period Reading class and before the bell rang a counselor came in to tell us that a fellow student had lost his mother over the weekend to breast cancer and I had thought to myself gosh I could never imagine loosing a parent let alone one at such a young age. I didn't think I could handle such a loss. Never in a million years did I think that in a few short months I would be in the exact same position as my fellow classmate was in. It was a club that I didn't want to be a part of.
Fast forward to a couple of months later I was standing by myself in another state with the phone by my feet not knowing what to do with the information that was just given to me. Needless to say I felt like the 4 hour flight back home was a world away and I would never touch down.
In the days, weeks, months that followed I never really spoke much about my father and would put on a stone face when the topic was brought up. I'm not sure why I put on such a brave face but I guess I never wanted to show emotion- I dealt with the pain on my own.
Now fast forward to the present day and a friend of mine was dealt a card that isn't fair and she was given the card of death but what was different about her card was she was given a timeline of death with the outcome still the same she was at least given a window. Does it lessen the blow? No. Does it make it easier? No.
It lead me to think of the question if you could chose what card you were dealt would you choose to be dealt with the card of a sudden death or a window where you had time to process??
You might think who would choose a sudden death? But some may because they don't want to have last words or your last memory to be of their loved one being ill & not the same person.
Looking back at my situation and with the card I was dealt with I'm okay with it because I was in such a good place with my father I had no unresolved issues with him. Would I have asked him more questions? Yes. Would I have said I love you once more? Yes. Given him one more hug? Yes. There are a lot of things I would have liked to ask him or what his wishes were for my future. I look back at the woman I've become and think I would make him proud.
I'll leave you with a story that sums up this topic: When I was on my Spring Break and during that time beanie babies were very popular. And I was a collector of them - who wasn't?? My dad before I left on the plane gave me $50 bucks to spend on beanie babies that I saw while I was on Spring Break. I was so excited to be on the search to add to my collection. A few days into my vacation I found a beanie baby that would be perfect for my collection.. The crown jewel. What was it you ask? The black bear named 'The End'. Ironic that the money my dad gave me I used for a innocent child's collectible called 'The End'? If I only knew those two words would mean more than I could ever imagine.