I got the news this morning that my husband’s best friend passed away last evening. He was older than us, but still young – 67 years old. We have been friends with this couple for twenty years, and less than a week ago were invited to come and stay with them for a couple of weeks. We never know how long we have on this planet. I wrote an article for my website, but thought I would post it here as well, in hopes of perhaps helping someone – or at least reminding all of us how precious and fragile life is. Please use this day to the best of your ability….prioritize what is most important in your life and attend to those things…I believe praising God and loving one another is what it is all about. What is most important to you?
Death is never easy, whether your relative or friend dies at a hospital, or home, or in your arms. No matter how prepared you think you are for the event, temporarily you may hit the bottom of the barrel. It is a shock. No one ever thinks death will hit home so closely.

The reality of life is that all humans are bound to die at some point. That is simply part of life. It doesn’t make it easier to accept when it happens.

What you can do is this. Pull yourself together by allowing yourself to have moments to breathe and cry. It’s absolutely okay to have personal periods of mourning and learning to accept the loss.

Contact family and friends for support. You will be amazed at how everyone will pull together to help you, if they can.

If no one lives near you, or you are absolutely alone, try to find human contact however you can. Very few people will simply extricate themselves for any length of time from others, though a few people really will choose to mourn privately. It is a choice.

What has happened is the starkest moment of realization that you are alive. No one knows why one person dies and another remains a living soul. You now realize, more than ever, life is fragile and there is no guarantee of time allotted to do the things you are working towards.

From the prospective of stress management, remember it will take time to adjust to the fact that this human relationship has ended forever. Do not be too hard on yourself for any dissension you had prior to the death of this individual. It happens. It has no merit now to torture yourself for mistakes you may have made in the relationship with the departed.

Unresolved scenarios are the most difficult to handle, but handle it you will – you have no choice except to do so. Forgive yourself and find peace where you can.

Initially there will be a brief blitz when people arrive to offer their consolation. There will be a flurry of activities, food, flowers and hugs. There will probably be a service and prayers offered.

However the final good-by is handled, whether there is a cremation or burial, remember to use your mindful breathing to calm yourself and help you find a tender mix of intelligent choices with your emotions.

Everyone responds differently. You will find unexpected people popping in to offer sympathy. Others you may have assumed would be there simply may not opt to, or be able to be there for the events.

Try to have great understanding in this are as they have the right to handle “death” in whatever manner they are able. There is no hard and fast rulebook on reactions that may manifest.

Be respectful and supportive of the individual’s decisions in this matter. Remember too, with the economic trials many people face, it simply may not be possible for family or friends to drop everything, get off work, or travel to be by your side.

Remember the great moments. Revel in the time spent together with the deceased. There are stages of grief and you will experience every one of them during the healing process.

For now, take a breath; use your oxygen to empower yourself. You are alive and able to make changes right now! Don’t punish yourself for the fact you are still here – be grateful you have the opportunity to go forth in a positive and powerful way. Make your life worthwhile by living it moment-by-moment to the best of your ability and attending to what is really important.

Take a breath. Say a prayer. Hug someone. Tell someone you love him or her. Spend time with those people in your circle of life and move forth to heal. There is no other GOOD choice.

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5 Responses to “DEATH”

  1. raeder Says:

    My deepest condolences to you and your husband, Marsha. Best friends are very special people who have given you the honor to be a part of their lives. I have very close friends whom i have known since i was 6 and when we lost one of them at age 28 (from a heart attack), the sense of loss is indescribable. you never forget the good times, every smile, every prank played together, etc… I will pray for you and your husband.

  2. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Thank you so very much. David was a wonderful man with a very kind heart. We appreciate your prayers! His wife said the good thing about the way he made his transition (if you can say anything is good about loosing a loved one) is that David was worried about a lingering and debilitating illness or a stroke, and this was sudden, so no weakening of this strong hearted man, just departure. What is a bit unnerving is that his cardiologist just gave him a clean bill of health and he had just gotten his truck driving medical exam and passed with flying colors.
    Thanks again so much for your concern and prayers.

  3. Slamdunk Says:

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. Good tips in your article–as you said it is never easy, but having strategies to deal with grief are important.

  4. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Thank you. It’s never easy to let go of someone who is kind and decent, and has been a good friend for lots of years. I feel, in my heart of hearts, David would have preferred this kind of transition…he was also a “man’s man” and would have hated to linger and become feeble and a burden for someone.

    He will be missed.

  5. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Thank you. It’s never easy to let go of someone who is kind and decent, and has been a good friend for lots of years. I feel, in my heart of hearts, David would have preferred this kind of transition…

    He will be missed.

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