I realized this is the second post in a row about death but, it seems to be in the forefront of recent thoughts and, it’s my blog so I’ll talk about what I want.
Tonight my middle daughter and I finally got around to watching last weeks Greys Anatomy and *spoilers ahead* we talked about death.
Couple of items of note if this is your first time here. I literally watched my dog Katie pass away a little over a week ago, as I stood by her head and stroked and held her as she died. And in 2014 I watched my husbands face turn grey and his eyes fix and dilate when his heart stopped. I saw that moment. It’s burned into my mind as almost no other memory I have is.
So, I don’t like dead eyes in shows or movies. I turn from the screen and don’t turn back until the scene is over.
But, like a good little masochist, I’m a Greys fan. And, if you are too, you know that Maggie’s mother died.
Shonda loooovessss death. She doesn’t care. Random death, shootings, drownings, fires, plane crashes, wires cut, she swims in it. Especially emotional death. If it will reduce her devoted swarms of gluttons of heartbreak to sobbing messes, she delights in it. So she killed a mother. Again. Beautifully.
Mid episode my daughter Ash and I were cracking jokes about my eventual death/funeral. She promised me pink and navy Swarovski crystals. Ahhh I said. You know me. And you’ll make a big dramatic show of wailing whilst covered in a black face veil? I asked her. Don’t worry mom, she came back. I got you. Imma go full on RuPaul drag show up in your funeral. Wailing AND a death drop. I know what you need. We laughed. She gets me. She threatened to play bad 80’s music. I countered with good 90’s music. Freedom by George Michael. Of course. And bloodletting by concrete blonde. (Because she refused to play Adele).
While it’s good, even healthy to laugh about death and joke about funerals, the show of course sobered up in a hurry and so did we. Maggie’s mother died and we literally looked at each other the second we knew it was happening and didn’t laugh anymore. I had to look away from the dead eyes shot and she knew why. She quietly said that she knew what I wanted (cremation) but not her dad. I answered her quietly and went back to letting some large, fat tears fall from my face.
Death is the one great equalizer. We’re literally all going to do it. I will. She will. My husband will. Our other kids will. You will. It can’t be escaped. Shonda sure knows it. But if death is the ultimate cure for life, love is the symptom that makes it most acute. It is simultaneously the balm that heals the wound and the blade that creates it.
Maybe that’s why it’s so important that we laughed before we cried. Because laughter is the medicine that makes death bearable. At least in some small measures.
I’m afraid of my husbands heart giving away again. I can’t shake that fear since September 19th 2014. But, when one day those eyes do change again, the moments I spent laughing with him will be the ones I’ll cherish the most.
And one day I will die. Hopefully a very long time from now. And while my children will, no doubt, be paralyzed by grief, Aislinn will remember a silly conversation about RuPaul on the couch. Kathryn will remember my face lighting up at her in her prom dress in the kitchen. Keisha will remember car trips and singing loudly on (and off) key. Shawn Michael will remember baking bread together in the kitchen. Liam will remember driving me to the theatre while I stood up out of the sunroof.
And if I go first, I hope Shawn remembers it all.
Life isn’t always easy and it sure as hell isnt always fair. But sometimes it’s unbelievable funny. And full of crazy love.