Friday, January 22, 2010

And so it goes

I read these lines on another blog today:
Death and birth. Joy and sorrow. A beautiful cycle  so very full and intermingling. And so it goes.
Ah, but it's easier to see the beauty in the cycle when the death comes at the end of a long, full life.

In early December 2007, Henry was getting poised for discharge, and my friend Amy's dad died. Even for him, the end was too soon, but when I went to the wake, her mom told me she had been thinking about the circle of life, her husband passing and Henry on the upswing. Weeks later, when she came to Henry's funeral, all I could think was that they weren't both supposed to go, that Henry was just starting his go round.

I am not unsympathetic to this woman who just lost her grandmother. It is only in the last few years that I have realized my own grandmother is mortal. She is still going strong at 94. She has been slowly slowing down, but she still amazes me. In such a life, I can see the cycle as it should be, the sorrow still coming with the end, yet the knowledge that a life was fully lived.

Maybe Henry's life was fully lived. Maybe he did all he was meant to do. But I think of how much he never did, will never get to do. I think of what I will never do with him, never see him do, and it feels incomplete.

Death, birth, joy, sorrow.
And so it goes.


  1. It is incomplete, Sara. At least the way I see it. I think we were robbed. But more importantly, our babies were robbed. Of far too much.

    Love to you. Thinking of Henry.

  2. I can never quite make my mind up on this one. It reminds me of a line from 'This Lovely Life', a book that I read after you recommended it here. Thank you so much for that, I read it over the girls' birthday and it really helped me through those days.

    'But even a short life is a whole life'
    Some days I can see that my daughter's life, although it was short, was a whole life. It was complete. It was her life, the only life she'll ever live.

    On other days, it seems less clear cut and, like Sally, I feel that she was robbed. That I was robbed. And yes, incomplete. x

  3. Oh Sara, I'm sending a hug your way. It's that loss of future and the possibility of what he might have been that seems so awful to me. I'm thinking of you.