One of My Heroes just Died
Ive been on Vacation this week. I had plans to go to Florida with my rubber Ducky and paddle some of the rivers there and possibly hang out with a manatee or two. Saturday night. I get a call. My Mentor and Hero from my younger days was home and in the hospital after a heart attack. I have been visiting the hospital on annd off since I found out. Last night he suffered another heart attack, but was revived. I went in the Cardiac intensive care with his ex wife to visit. He opened his eyes and said Shit I was walking across the field in front of the old High Adventure Program main cabin It was a warm Summer day, and two dudes jump me. I open my eyes and its you. After Awhile he says I guess they were wrong I aint going to hell . Its good to say bye though before I am no more. Just got the call that he is no longer among us.
The hardest part about getting older is burying the people you love! Nothing can be worse than going through that so many times.
I've reached a stage where there is only one who is not family left, and he's not a close friend -- just an acquaintance. Why did I make that distinction? Because even if he dies before I do, the pain will be the same. I've lost a few other 'acquaintances' over the past few years and I know now that this is true. The alternative to feeling such pain is to feel nothing, and that is a horrible thought.
So, I'm sorry for your loss, @Stevil but I'm relieved that you feel it. That pain is one of the things that makes the human species special. There are very few others on this planet who display that sort of connection. Our bond with others is real and it endures. The grief we feel for our friends/acquaintances, those we admire but never met, and especially our family members, is the most sincere tribute we can give any of them.
I have found that the greatest grief arises from selfishness. Firstly there is the grief arising from rarely having told our loved ones that we love them. Secondly that whilst they are living we rarely give them permission to die before us. Thirdly we rarely discuss and prioritise those things that will grieve us the most if we do not complete them before they die. If you have done these and cleared the bucket list there will be nothing to grieve because the deceased lives on in you and everyone else who they influenced. ... in other words party time and posthumously thank the dead for what they left.
I said goodbye to my family more than forty years ago. With one exception the few additional meetings, conversations and letters were merely bonuses on lives already spent doing what we wanted to achieve. The exception, my brother, was killed before we could achieve what should have occurred.
Sad is as we get older.... more and more often will happen. We can't stop it. It is part of the contract we are on. It will never be the same but realize that you are losing friends faster you can make new ones so... those departed never will be forgotten or their place filled by someone else but you need to make new friends. You have to live life for those that no longer can.