take ownership

“Well, who would want to know if they were actually dying?”

That was the unusual (to me) comment made by the son of a man who passed away suddenly Saturday night.

Back up a little, Mr E was a good man. His family has been a part of my family since my senior year of high school. They were like second parents and never failed to simply “be there”….usually with lots of food. 

Of course, Mr. E was getting older. He was tired more often and seemed to be coming down with a cold, or flu. So, when his youngest daughter came home and saw him sleeping in his chair, it was not a cause for alarm. He was snoring…then he wasn’t.  That is basically all that happened.

                                              One minute, he was. The next, he wasn’t. 

We got the call less than an hour later.

….and started preparing food…..because that’s what you do when something like this happens; keep busy- cook, clean, make phone calls… 

The next day we sat-walked-talked-laughed-cried with the family.

Mr. and Mrs E’s house was full as always, and sometimes you could even manage to forget why we were all there…until you looked out the back window. Seth, the oldest grandson was busy doing all the work around the lake, alone. He spent every Sunday with grandpa. They had a routine. He took it upon himself to handle the very important tasks of collecting all the stray sticks for the burn pile, cleaning the row boats and I’m not sure what else, but he was busy…. and unbearably sad.

When he was finally forced to come inside to eat something, it was clear the boy hadn’t slept, his hands rubbed his face, his hair, his hollow eyes… the sandwich was torn and then put in a baggie in the fridge – and he got back to work.

Things are said in the midst of all the uncomfortable sadness that don’t always make sense. People are coming at the situation full of their own thoughts and experiences and sometimes ugly “wisdom,” it’s best to not to really listen…just nod.

When the one son started to explain his dad’s symptoms leading up to Saturday, it was clear Mr. E was not doing well….and some questioned why he didn’t go to the doctor. In his defense, there was a lot going on, his wife was scheduled for surgery (today actually- now postponed) and it very well could have been the autumn flu that has been going around…and then the son said, “besides, who would want to know if they were actually dying?”  

I didn’t know what to do with that phrase. I still don’t.  I think Mr. E would have wanted to stay around, he enjoyed life too much. But I will not judge the man for not going to see a doctor – for a probable virus. I understand that much.

The GBE2 prompt for this week is “Ownership”  I saw ownership in the actions of the oldest grandson as he took over in grandpas absence, and I wonder about taking ownership of your health. This connection is a floaty idea that hasn’t quite come together. Sure, you can do everything under the sun to take care of your body. Take ownership of your health so to speak, but even then, there are no guarantees.

Mainly, I hope more people take ownership of what they say this week around the family…..and remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT….words are unnecessary. 

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13 thoughts on “take ownership

  1. I love this blog. I too am impressed with the oldest grandson taking on the responsibilities around the lake. Grandpa would be proud. Yes, yes…I repeat that saying all the time to my kids! "If you don't have anything nice to say, then do not speak at all."

  2. It seems to me that every person handles death different from the next one. What seemed inappropriate to one may not seem inappropriate to another. I understand the son. It is best to take these things with a grain of salt, then let it go. Everybody is upset.

  3. Darlene hit it right on the head. Grief is a difficult thing to understand. We have to just let everyone do or say what they need to do or say. And to be honest here, I don't want to know.I'm very sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

  4. Grief is different for everyone. While some stay busy at a frenetic pace others sit lost in a sad void staring into space. I think the older a person gets you do take ownership of your health. You make decisions and live or die with the consequences. So sorry for your loss.Kathyhttp://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

  5. I'm so sorry that you're hurting. I see that it's been said several times above, but grief really is a personal experience, and we all handle it in our own way–which often changes depending on the particular loss. I'd guess that Mr. E's son was simply reflecting on his own preference, were his time near, and I'm sure that his view is not uncommon. One thing is certain: when emotions are high, as they are in grieving, all sorts of things are thought and felt and said that don't crop up in other circumstances. I wish peace and healing for all who loved Mr. E. How is his wife holding up?

  6. Oh no, I guess that didn't come across right…I was not bothered by that comment – not at all…just pondering it. – was worried about other stray comments that tend to be said without thinking at funerals.the family is incredibly – beautifully close (I am so blessed to have been included in the "inner circle" today at the funeral…Mrs E is understandably worn out, ~so sad for her.

  7. yup they should JUST BLOG!!!!! lol LOVE THIS and your writing is so descriptive. I feel as if i met MR E;s family…and just thinking..who is going to take care of the lake home now? Wonder if Mrs E will be able to carry on w/o him. Recently lost my dad, mom is doing well..but there is such an empty spaceGreat write my friend

  8. Beautiful writing! I am glad that you had that family to share your journey, and I hope that you are comforted in your grief by those memories. Blessings!

  9. True we all deal with things differently. I am actually the person that usually says the wrong thing because I've never figured out what the right words are in these situations. I'm sorry for your loss. Not an easy time for anyone.

  10. My heart went out the grandson continuing to do what he would have done with his garndfather. His way of coping with the loss – we all do it differently. Condolences to you and the family on your loss.

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