A friend of mine got married recently, on the quiet and not telling anyone. She’s extremely unwell and just wanted a quiet wedding with almost no-one there. I’ve been searching around for a while now trying to find the right image to put here and found it tonight. This isn’t her obviously but I still think it’s poignant and makes me think of her and her new husband.
Life can be pretty cruel sometimes, of at least that’s how it seems to me, it’s hard to second guess what is going to happen next but it does seem to be some truth in ‘the good ones always go first’, and that’s something I observed again and again when working on Intensive Care. I remember one summer trying my best to keep Michael alive, he was sixteen and had cancer and we struggled desperately with him, it was one step forward and two steps back all summer and we made heroic efforts to save him and tried things when we knew there was practically no hope. He slipped away suddenly just as school autumn term started and his younger brother was called in from school, still wearing his school uniform. My first born is about the same age now as Michaels younger brother was and sometimes when I see him in his school uniform I am taken back to that summer more than ten years ago and it’s like it happened only yesterday. It’s strange what you remember, in more than ten years of working on various Intensive Cares in London and dealing literally with hundreds of tragedies and deaths, there are still a few that stick out and shine, Michael was one of them. He knew he was going to die, we all knew he was going to die, and yet he never complained about how unfair or how cruel it was, and neither did his mother, his father, or his younger brother, and yet I knew it was tearing them all apart, it was wrote all over their faces, just like every single member of Staff around them. I think some souls come down onto this earth solely to teach everyone else lessons.
I had another friend whose mother passed away after a long illness and she asked me about pain, do folk die in pain but here’s the thing, nature pulls a clever trick, when someone is close to death and their body is failing then so too is the body’s ability to register discomfort and pain, the pain transmission along the nerve pathways is impaired too and the failing brain, starved of oxygen isn’t able to interpret the signals, in all my time on Intensive Care I never saw anyone pass away in discomfort, it was always peaceful.
You try try try your best to comfort people when they lose someone, it’s hard because really, the only thing that really eases the pain, the sense of loss, is time, and even then the void is always there, a gap that can never to be filled again. All these thoughts have been hovering in the back of my mind recently because of my friend and it’s hard to make sense of it at all but every day The Universe writes me a little note and this was this mornings note pasted below. The atheists amongst you will scoff, some will just groan but I don’t really mind as it’s my note and it reminds me that we never truly lose anyone.
The top things dead people want to tell living people and they are:
They’re not dead.
They’re sorry for any pain they caused.
They were ready to go when they went.
You’re not ready.
They finally understand what they were missing.
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the moment you arrive.
Don’t try to understand this now, but life is exceedingly fair.
Your pets are as crazy, brilliant and loving, here, as they were there.
Life really is all about love, but not just loving those who love you…
In their own words,
PS It’s almost Christmas and on the radio they are playing Whams ‘Last Christmas’, if this was your last Christmas, where would you spend it? I think, after church I might go to Lapland… the land of reindeer’s and snow