Depressing Things

Those of you who read my blog with any sort of frequency have no doubt noticed that I try to avoid Truly Depressing Things. I complain, grouse, whine, murmur, grumble, groan and bemoan various trivial things in my life, but for the most part, I try to keep things chipper around Bryce’s Ramblings.

Today, I can’t really muster a whole lot of chipper out of myself. So if you want to stay sun-shiny and happy, I’d advise you to move along and not read the rest of this post.

Still here?

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A family in my ward (church, for you non-Mormons out there) lost a child last Friday. Seven years old. Cancer. She’d been diagnosed three years ago. I have known about this and watched events unfold from a relatively distant perch. When I moved out here to Maine, they were already two years into the ordeal, and I haven’t really had a chance to get to know them well. I have refrained from posting at all about their experiences–and my reactions/thoughts to those experiences–mainly because I don’t think it’s any of my business, and certainly not any of yours. So I’ve kept mum, and I still intend on keeping mum except to fill you in on those brief details above.

So what am I posting about, if not about that?

Well, I feel I can talk about my personal reaction to what I’ve seen happen. Not this case in particular, but losing a child in general. I went to the viewing last night, and it was a very sad occasion for me, imagining what it would be like to lose TRC or DC–or DKC or anyone else close to me. For a long time in my life, I didn’t have to deal with death. No one I knew close to me died. Yes, there were some kids at school who passed away, but they weren’t close friends. I had a step grandmother and step grandfather who died, but I never really knew them that well. When you’re young, old people die. You come to expect it. Then an uncle died, then another, then a grandmother and then another . . . death is becoming increasingly unavoidable–as it will no doubt continue to be the older I get. And it’s not just that it’s becoming unavoidable. It’s hitting closer to home. It’s forcing me to acknowledge that I might die, or anyone else. Not just “old people.”

But something about children dying . . . it just doesn’t seem right. Not right at all. And the idea that one of my children might die gives me nightmares, literally. I have no idea how I would respond if that happened, and I’m superstitious enough to not want to discuss it. I don’t know . . . I realize that this post is fairly rambling, and that’s the way it goes with my posts sometimes. I suppose I just have a question for all of you:

What do you think happens after we die?

Fellow Mormons, please realize I’m already well aware of what you think. I’m more interested in what other people think. Because for me, the only thing that keeps me from getting really angry with unfairness of it all is the belief that life goes on after this one, and that families are eternal. None of this “till death do you part” crap in my theology. TRC and DC are my children forever. DKC is my wife forever. The little girl who passed away Friday will be reunited with her parents in the world to come. And for me, that makes everything even out. It all Makes Sense.

So I wonder what it’s like for those not of my faith. How do they make sense of it all? Because I think that in one way or another, this is a question we all deal with–we’re forced to. Death happens. I’d love to hear some comments from some of you–here or as an email. Mormons are allowed to post, too–naturally. 🙂

In any case, my condolences go out to the family. There is no way I can know or understand what you’re going through, but I wish you well and pray you continue to find comfort.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

6 thoughts on “Depressing Things”

  1. Death
    I per say don’t have a religion, nature is the closet thing to religion as it gets for me. I do believe that we go somewhere greater than here, where that is I don’t know. I lost a dear friend who was killed by a drunk driver. He was a superb human being, gentle, giving, and always making people laugh. I have to believe that he was taken from us all for a reason, what that reason is, I don’t know. But, I’m sure he is somewhere still doing little things for people, still smiling, and bettering the lives of all he meets on his journey.

  2. Your faith is no different then mine…at this time, I simply have no “building” around me, which I’ve learned, is ok.
    I’m still walking these feelings of death. I truly believe things happen for a reason, yet, losing a loved one is very difficult for all of those left behind. I can logically reason and know “why” I no longer have my loved one *here*.If it weren’t for my faith, I never would have gotten through this time. I know my loved one is near…someone told me to “watch for the signs” and believe me, they are there!
    My faith, it turns out, is stronger than the church and those involved in that “building”…death frightens some away…they don’t know what to say, how to say it, or are afraid of upsetting you…then, death brings out the worst in others who say silly and disturbing things, they say them for themselves, really. Death is an interesting process. Personally, I have grown through death. I am stronger. And I hope a better person…strong in faith. I too know what will be happening after death…it’s not a scary thing for me, only those around me…
    What you need to know is that is ok to be angry, it’s ok to question, it’s ok to be scared…your faith will help you heal.

  3. I agree…
    Especially with 2nd anonymous’s reference to anger. I think that the grieving process, as it has been identified by those in “the know” is exactly that. I know that we can be angry about being put in the situation we’ve been put in, be it death or job loss or annoying calling. It’s even the healthiest route to go, as long as we can then recognize how our anger is rooted in sadness. ALL anger stems from sadness. It’s a defense mechanism. Self preservation. Recognizing and dealing with the sadness, then moves us forward.
    But it’s definitely a process, and for everyone at their own pace. For many it will take years, others will get stuck along the way. The key with Savannah is to look for the lesson you, personally, learned from her experience, and that might just be to hug your children the next time they write on the wall, and quietly tell them not to, because we do never really know how long we will have.

  4. Re: I agree…
    Good point. And good point about the anger/sadness connection. It’s funny–I watch TRC when I scold him, and a lot of the times right now he responds in one of two ways. Either he gets all drippy eyed or he sits there and scowls at me. Sad or angry–the two emotions really do seem to be intertwined a lot of the time.

  5. Thank you for your comments. I don’t know if I’m really angry about death. It’s an accepted fact for me. I can see how other people would be, but anger at a death isn’t an emotion that’s come to me yet. I feel sorry for the people’s loss, and sorry for my own . . . But not angry. I suppose some of that is because I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and that God is a benevolent, loving person. He doesn’t do things to us out of spite. Trials are here to make us stronger and to test us. But I can see that for people who didn’t believe that, death could inspire a whole range of emotions–and it will likely inspire new emotions in me as I continue to encounter it. But it certainly is one area where faith seems so necessary to me. Without it, I don’t know how I’d handle the losses.

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