Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thoughts on Endings

As of today, I've now seen to the disposition of the four grandparents I knew.
  • pallbearer for paternal grandfather
  • pallbearer for maternal grandfather
  • scattered the ashes of my paternal step-grandmother on a church green in London
  • pallbearer for maternal grandmother
On top of that, during the spring of 2010, I helped my mother scatter my father's ashes at the site of their first date.

Death and its trappings have rarely been the kind of sad event that it feels like they should be. Maybe I just process things differently. Dunno.

Even my own father's death wasn't as sad it they felt it ought to have been: the news of the death; the viewing at the funeral home prior his cremation and the scattering of his ashes. The thing that felt the most immediately sad was the extinguishing the last embers of his existence - the paperwork of terminating professional memberships and licensures, seeing to insurance papers, recovering passwords to computers, ensuring the smooth transfer of bank accounts from deceased father to surviving mother. Eventually, the sadness of realizing that the one person who most got me, who I could most easily talk to, hit me. However, that was more sadness for my own situation than true sadness at the death of my father.

I think the thing that came closest to saddening me at today's event was the family picture atop my grandmother's cask. It was a picture of my maternal grandparents, my parents and me taken early in my sophomore year of college. What I found sad was three of the five people pictured were all gone, now - and that, barring misadventure or unexpected disease process, I would be the last of those pictured to draw breath. Piled on top of that, the knowledge that, with no children of my own and no neices or nephews, my final disposition is entirely likely to be at the hands of strangers.


Then again, I'll be dead and hopefully won't have any capability to know or care.

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