So, today, I felt the need to speak of some of my beliefs. I suppose some may for some reason, find them a little off the wall, but, I need to come clean. I have kept pretty conservative on religious views, because they tend to be such a hot topic, and sure to stir up emotions. Growing up, it didn't take long to realize, two topics that were sure to cause verbal altercations, politics, and religion. I have spewed a fair chunk on politics, today I must put down some words, on my religious convictions.
Am I Christian? Yep, not a very good one, but, it is the core of my being, and although I do not wish to force my personal belief on others, those who have popped in for a read, are about to understand how I manage to get through the loss of friends and family. I survive saying goodbye, because, deep down inside, I truly believe, one day, I will see those who have left, again.
I simply cannot imagine a life that when a loved one departs, that is it, over and done, all that they were, is finished. If some come into the world, for only moments, touch the hearts of others, and then pass away, to think that soul (yes, I believe we all have souls) is forever extinguished, is unacceptable.
Oh, I am sure non-believers will ask the same questions I have often asked, do babies remain babies, do old people stay the same? I have never studied theology, perhaps those questions have answers, but, to me that is unimportant. When you fall in love with a human, you were first attracted to them by their physical appearance, however, if you truly love them, time can change their looks. Accidents happen, faces are scarred, limbs may be lost, weight is gained or lost, hair falls out, parts sag, and yet, the love remains. That is because you love the engine, and not the chassis.
So, who is to say, the physical part remains, upon death? I expect the fact that bodies decompose, kind of makes that a moot point, right? To remember those who have passed, we see their faces, but, more so, we remember the warmth, and love that we felt, when we were with them.
To those who have not watched death occur, perhaps you find it harder to consider a life after. I have told some, of my experience, those who I felt needed some reassurance, but today I will tell you the moment I realized all the Sunday school stories I had grown up hearing, had foundation. This was both a terrible, and wonderful moment in my life, and not an easy one to put down in words.
I have eluded to the fact that my Mother passed away from Cancer, over 30 years ago. She stayed at home for the last 6 months of her illness, and my Father, sister-in-law and myself, cared for her. She suffered greatly, beyond anything I could imagine. I also became a believer in voluntary euthanasia, but did not have the strength to allow my Mother that dignity. She could not eat, she could not sleep without drug inducement, she simply continued breathing and suffering, far too long.
The night before she left, she talked an awful lot. She told me she had a visit from her Mother, and some others who had long since passed. She told me she had been so happy to see them, but they told her it wasn't quite time, and she had to stay. I felt the hairs on my arms stand up. She seemed almost relieved, and was smiling, and happier than I had seen her in months, she talked for a very long time, telling me things I never knew before.
The next morning, she was almost serene. The pain did not seem to over power every moment. She laid on the couch, I sat on the edge, as she napped. The moment of her passing, came with a struggle to catch her breath, I held her, trying to help, but helpless, the time had come. It was so very fast, as some know, you think you are ready, but, the loss is always a shock.
I thought about our talk of the visit, some may say it was drug related, she was on a pretty heavy dose of morphine. But, at the same time she told me of the visit, she told me other things, that she had kept secret for years, so how muddled were her thoughts? I believe to this day, she had a visit to let her know, her suffering was almost over.
Fast forward, decades. My cousin calls me, out of the blue. Lives almost on the opposite side of the country. He tells me that his Father (my Mom's brother) has passed away. I did not know my uncle well, but knew my Mom thought of world of him, and the time I had spent with him, I understood why she loved him so much. I told my cousin how sorry I was, and that was when he said he had called, because he needed to pass something important on to me. Moments before my uncle died, he told my aunt that Theresa was there. Theresa was my Mother.She was the visit my uncle got. Those were the last words he spoke.
So, today, I lost a friend. Many are suffering the loss of a wonderful giant of a man, who we grew up with. A person with a heart as big as a house. A friend who cared deeply about all of those who were lucky enough to know Herbie. He touched so many lives, and became the one who watched over us, he cared for each and every girl and guy in town. He would show up, and we would all feel safe. He took care of each one of us, like a big brother.
I am not sure who made the visit to Herb to take him onto the next life, but it is a comfort to me, to believe, we will meet again.
Until then Herbie, you will be missed!