Preparing for Loss

The call came yesterday.  We’ve known it was just a matter of time, so why did it feel like such a shock?

We should be prepared for this.

“There’s nothing more they can do now,” my sister-in-law said. “They are just going to keep him comfortable until…….well, you know…..until then.”

We all broke down and sobbed.

We are not at all prepared.

Archie is 86.  He’s lived a big life.  He was a high school teacher before retiring to run a Bed and Breakfast with my sister-in-law (also a retired teacher). He is a father, stepfather, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He was an avid sailer, skier, and tennis player into his late 70’s, and he completely remodeled the gorgeous old home that is now the Bed and Breakfast.  Archie can cook and hike and is always game to go out to dinner or to see one of his grandsons in a sporting event.  Even when he’s been very ill, he’s been adventurous. But somehow all of this still doesn’t make the thought of losing him any easier.

Why are we so ill prepared? Why don’t we know how to handle the end of life?

Now it’s just a matter of waiting. We have called all of our children to let them know.  We’ve offered to come up and stay to help out.  We have made tentative plans to drive to upstate NY when we are needed.

We cry.  We sit in silence.  We retell all the stories we can think of that include Archie (and there are so many).  We cry some more.

I guess we are preparing, but I don’t think we will ever be ready to lose Archie.  He is one of a kind.  The world will be just a little bit less beautiful when he is gone.


4 thoughts on “Preparing for Loss”

  1. My brother-in-law died in July and my mother last October; I am all too familiar with this pain and wonder. I don’t think one is ever ready for someone’s death; there is a hole that remains forever. However, I think journeying alongside the dying and supporting loved ones as they grieve (just as you are doing with your sister-in-law) can help to soothe and comfort. Thinking of you at this sad time!

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