Beyond knowing that life ends in death we do not know the future.
On the other hand many things are predictable, and yet we act surprised when we let go of something and it falls to the ground.
This week has been a bit strange, I have had opportunities to get worked up and feel things intensely and instead felt disassociated.
I received a call last night that a friend has died. She has been dying for five years, give or take. She was on hospice about four years ago, then they kicked her off because she just kept living, removing critical support for her physical needs and putting an even greater burden on her family.
Something sad happens when people ail for so very long: we become inured. But beyond that there comes a point when you can’t live in a dramatic moment forever, putting all other life activities on hold while you minister to the sick.
I went to visit my friend a few times. She was in a discussion group I facilitated, and, early in her illness, we took field trips to include her in our discussions now and again. But our visits were work for her family, and it was difficult to coordinate people’s schedules, especially as it wasn’t predictable when she would be lucid.
I went on my own a couple of times, but life is busy and as we spent more and more time not sharing life experiences there was less and less to say. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years. I don’t feel bad about that. I went when I was able to converse intelligently with her and we had mutual joy in the conversations. That changed.
Sometimes that happens in non-death bed type situations. You become tired of crisis after crisis. The relationship shifts to where meaningful interaction no longer takes place.
When folks called me this week about the latest crisis I had to bite my tongue to not say something pithy about the drama queen. Not that it isn’t true, or even that it shouldn’t be said, just that it wouldn’t be helpful. I tried to encourage the enablers of the day to think about themselves and take care of those needs first. Because I know what they haven’t learned yet: there will be another opportunity to enter into the adrenaline rush of the crisis, because there will be another crisis.
So is there a point to this post? Yes, an important one. Selfish as it my seem, it is really important to
“Always put on your own oxygen mask first, before assisting others.”
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other.”