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Senior Contributor

Perspectives and how they change...

Our community has suffered a couple tragic losses recently and that is such a reminder how fragile life is..   

 

Also very recently a young man in our agriculture community was diagnosed with a liver disease and needed a liver transplant.   We know the young man albeit not extremely well but he is friends with my kids and their friends.    I cannot even begin to imagine what the family was going thru watching a healthy 18 year old decline so rapidly that he required hospitilaztion within only a couple months.   Last night or rather in the wee hours of the morning, a liver became available and surgery was done.    One family rejoices as another grieves..    

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Senior Contributor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

My DH's cousin's daughter, who is also a neighbor, had to have a liver transplant.  She was in Chicago hospital for months.  No match.  She was prepped for transplant the first time & t team flew to harvest the sonar and the liver wasn't good enough.  More waiting.  More months on dialysis then a young man's was a match.  Since then she has visited the family & they have a bond.  It's been 4 yrs now, she is completing nurses training, wedding in November, & works for a transplant organization.  Hope your young man is as fortunate.   There have been ups & downs but God has blessed her & more importantly she knows it.

 

It is so sad that one family loses while the other gains.  Prayers for both.

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Advisor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

Sometimes the only thing that helps a family cope with a sudden tragic loss is giving the gift of life to another.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

I hope the young man heals, and makes good use of his second shot at life.

You are new here, so. i will share some personal history...our youngest daughter passed away suddenly a bit over two years ago, at the age of thirty. It shifted a lot of our thinking, beliefs, and priorities. I look at things a lot differently now, study more about dpiritual issues, even learned how to meditate as a means of dealing with grief.

I think you can either let pain improve you or destroy you. Some cultures believe that life is a struggle, that suffering is the human condition.

We Americans seem to have a rosier expectation, so I think we are perhaps more devastated when life hands us something other than our dreams-come-true. When your heart is broken, and so is the heart of everyone else you love, it is pretty hard to accept.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

Sorry to hear this Kay.  

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Honored Advisor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

You may notice me writing about Jenna's house quite often...that is the little farmhouse on Mike's farm where he grew up. She was living there the ladt 5.5 years of her life. When she passed, I started going up there, finishing the decorating she'd started, and building a flower garden, out of tons of rock, mulch, and numerous plantings.

Mike told me he never wanted a tenant there -the three other houses have bern rented, most for many years. He said I could do whatever I wanted there, so my grief led me to just goong there whenever I had a spare day, to carve out some sort of memorial to our child. It has become our second home now, and we try to get there 2-3 nights each week.

Just last month, the tenants next door -who weepre very dupisruptive neighbors, decide to move out. That may have been driven by our decision to call for the ddputies at 2:30 on Easter morning, when their loud music was driving me to tears, and finally woke Mike up, when he rolled over and his good ear came up off the pillow.

He asked me not to re-rent that little house, either. The two houses are just too close together. Over a couple of days, we separately arrived at the idea of moving all my syained glass and weaving apparatus on there.

We started working on repairs and re-dos in mid-July. I am " this" close to done, and we have started cleaning out and fixing up the outbuildings. Hopefully, I will be making glass projects again next month. Doing stained glass gives me a creative outlet, which I have sorely missed

That farm is about 80 miles from this one in NC, where we earn our primary living. It feels like it is a million miles away, when we go there! The change in point of view we gain from getting away from the pressure cooker here is priceless.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

That is really neat that you have a place like that to keep her memory close.  I think most people need something to hold onto for awhile.   

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Honored Advisor

Re: Perspectives and how they change...

It might seem macabre to some people, to have your deceased child's possessions and home still held so closely.  It was, as I said, Mike's family homeplace, so I think that's a bit different. 

 

We gave her clothing and other useful personal items to her best friend, whom she'd always passed along clothes and shoes to, and some of her small collectible things to other close friends.  We kept her car, which I drive when I don't need much cargo space. 

 

Her personal papers and laptop and such are upstairs in her old room here, in a trunk.  It took a long time to settle her affairs, and that is hopefully done now. 

 

For the first year or so, it felt like a kick in the guts to toss even an expired grocery item.  I didn't rearrange much for a good, long while.  We have kept "her" colors in the rooms, only painting the den, which was under extreme repair when she passed.  I even chose a paint as close as memory could serve to a chip she had shown me.  We happened to have very similar taste, so her ideas feel much like they fell out of my brain. 

 

I have one more project for "her" house that she wanted to accomplish coming up...it is really the last one I can remember.  She wanted tiled tops on the kitchen cabinets.  The sink and ugly laminate she wanted gone are getting ready to go. 

 

You have to understand that she helped me pick out every tile and many other things in my house.  When I returned to the company where she taught me to find that kind of stuff, I could hear her from three years ago, saying, "Mama...I found it!"  I almost expected to step around a corner and see her there. 

 

When I go to her house, I sit and write in a journal, just as if I am writing a letter to her.  It started as my attempt to record every memory of her, so she wouldn't be forgotten.   That is, quite honestly, what every mother wants for her child who's crossed over...to know that people remember them fondly. 

 

It took a while, and a very chance encounter with a messenger, for me to understand that her memory was very much alive in very many people.  That allowed me the peace of knowing that, and the focus of my writings to her began to change. 

 

Now, it's about the family and her nephew's growing up...he was too young to consciously remember her.  It is about the roses and other blooming things that I framed the house with, to make it feel more alive.  It's about the new vegetable garden, my hobby shop moving in next door. 

 

It is about her Daddy, what we're doing there and here.  It is my side of the conversations we used to have on her Bluetooth every Sunday night, on her drive home from work. 

 

It is about how much I miss her, and the messages she sends, to let us know she's okay over there.  I have filled volumes. 

 

The more I accept her passing - and acceptance is a gift I have to give myself, like people forgive others for themselves - the more, I find comfort in that place.  It's not as much a reminder of her dying as it is a way of keeping touch with her the way she was when she was living.  It's home, in a way this farm we bought a state line away will never be. 

 

Yes, loss changes your perspective, but it takes a lot of evolution for the change to manifest itself in useful ways.  We can have sympathy, but until we know profound loss, we don't really possess empathy. First, you have to get over being angry. 

 

Until it happens to you, it's an example, like a made-up word problem in math.  Once it happens in your own life, it becomes a lesson in applied learning. 

 

It is life, smacking you upside the head, telling you not to waste the time you've got here ...but also letting you know you really have an eternity waiting over there.  My baby's taught me that.   

 

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