I worked two years at a retirement home – watched people come and go. And I became numb to them dying. Except one elderly, kind, lady. The last day I saw her, she told me that she loved me. A few days later I was told that she passed away, I couldn’t cry at work…I couldn’t cry about it for three months. No matter how many times my co-workers told me it was okay to cry about it, I couldn’t. One day, I lost it and couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t realize how much of an impact I had on her in her last days as well as she was the whole two years I was there. But what was worse, no one cared that it affected me that much. The only person that knew my pain, but even greater, was my ex – we will call him “L” His father had passed away from Alzheimer’s. The three hours I dedicated to listening to him break down and explain to me what he had to go through for two weeks, made me realize that life is more precious than we know. I still struggle though every day, reminding myself that it’s okay to feel emotions, just don’t bury yourself in them if they are negative.

 
Right now, my head hurts, trying to sum up positive words to display on Facebook to my sister’s friend who had been told by doctors that she only has six months to a year. She feels that her support is crumbling, but I had to remind her that her children are fragile. Especially after losing their grandfather and step-grandfather in a seven year time frame. Not only that, but this year alone, both children have been to the doctors way more than a child should. It is too much for them right now. She may feel alone in on this, but they are hurting too. They may seem bratty, but they are still adjusting to everything changing for them once again.

 
And the best thing that anyone can do for a grieving friend or family member, is to keep reminding them that you are there for them, but also give them space. Do not force people into the things that they are not ready for. Let them come to you and let them be willing to open up to you. It will be hard to do and sometimes patience isn’t the greatest thing in a trying time like these, but you will start to see that it’s the better alternative. I had to learn the hard way with “L.” I pushed and pushed to get him to open up to me about the death of his father, but my best friend and her grandmother kept telling me to back off and be patient. Because I listened to them and let him go, he eventually came around.

 
Another thing, put yourself into the shoes of the dying person. Do they really want their grandchildren to see them fade away? Yes, they may not want to die alone, but why should you subject your children to something so detrimental? If the dying person is capable of thinking for themselves, try asking them what their requests are. Honor their requests at all times. Even if you think you know what’s best for them. Please do not scar your children because you think it is the best option for them. Always talk things out with everyone and have a game plan to the end.

 
I want to share this, because I want people to know, you don’t have to think of death as the end of everything. No matter what you believe in – okay – maybe not for those who are absolutely Atheist. But even Atheist has to believe in something, right? Another topic for another day.

 
Please remember that the person you lose, may not be here physically, they will always be in your hearts and in your memories, whether you chose to photograph them or not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I’m gone when you wake up
Please, don’t cry
And if I’m gone when you wake up
It’s not goodbye
Don’t look back at this time as a time
Of heartbreak and distress
Remember me, remember me
‘Cause I’ll be with you in your dreams
Oh, I’ll be with you, oh, oh

But If I’m gone when you wake up
Please, don’t cry
And if I’m gone when you wake up
Don’t ask why
Don’t look back at this time
As a time of heartbreak and distress
Remember me, remember me
‘Cause I’ll be with you in your dreams
Oh, oh

Don’t cry
I’m with you
Don’t cry
I’m by your side
Don’t cry
I’m with you
Don’t cry
I’m by your side

And though my flesh is gone, whoa
I’ll still be with you at all times
And although my body’s gone, oh
I’ll be there to comfort you at all times
Oh, oh

But If I’m gone when you wake up
Please, don’t cry
And if I’m gone when you wake up
Don’t ask why
Don’t look back at this time
As a time of heartbreak and distress
Remember me, remember me
‘Cause I’ll be with you
I’ll be with you in your dreams

Oh, I’ll be with you
Oh
I’ll be with you in your dreams
I’ll be with you
I’ll be with you

I don’t want you to cry and weep, oh
I want you to go on living your life
I’m not sleeping an endless sleep, oh
‘Cause in your heart
You have all of our good times
Oh, all of our good times
Oh, oh, you have

And if I’m gone when you wake up
Don’t ask why
Don’t look back at this time
As a time of heartbreak and distress
Remember me, remember me
‘Cause I’ll be with you in your dreams

Oh
I’ll be with you in your dreams
I’ll be with you
Oh
I’ll be with you
I’ll be with you in your dreams
I’ll be with you in your dreams

~ Hanson,
I’ll be with you in your dreams

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