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Friday, April 23, 2010

Flashback Friday #7

This is a somewhat serious topic, but that is okay.  I'm in a somewhat serious mood today.

Here is the prompt for today's FF:
How old were you (approximately) when you attended your first funeral?  Did your parents shield you from death and grief or was it viewed as a natural part of life? Did you experience any significant loss(es) in your growing up years? What were your early impressions of death and dying? And while I do not intend this in any irreverent way, are there any amusing memories associated with a death or funeral? If you have kids, how have you handled this subject with them? Feel free to share as vulnerably or as shallowly as you want!  

I lost my brother when I was five.  Even though I don't have many memories from when I was younger, I remember everything about this one.  I remember visiting my brother in the hospital and seeing the tubes in his throat.  I remember I was confused, because we made him cookies and I didn't know why he couldn't eat them.  I remember mom getting a call that she needed to get to the hospital RIGHT NOW.  And I remember I was upset because during that visit my sister and I weren't allowed into his room.  Little did I know at that time, he had already passed away.  My parents did let us go to the funeral.  I remembered my brother as this wonderful, fun guy with long hair.  (He was about 17 years older than me.)  When I saw him in the coffin, all his hair was cut off and he had a mustache.  That shocked me beyond belief and I started screaming and crying.  They got me out of there fast.  I would say that was a pretty significant loss. 

I became very familiar with death during my growing up years.  Along with my brother, I lost my grandmother, my uncle, one of my nephews, a couple of my friends.  That was all before I turned eighteen.  I lost an old friend when I was around 24.  That was one of those experiences when I can pinpoint a significant change in myself.  Unfortunately, there was some unresolved conflict with us that laid guilt on my shoulders for a long time and almost destroyed my marriage.  My most significant loss to date has been my mother.  Nothing has ever struck me as hard as losing my mom.  There will never be anyone to replace her, and sometimes I still pick up the phone to call her and then I realize that she won't be on the other end of that line.

My early impressions of death and dying were those of nervousness and trepidation.  For awhile, I would say to myself "I wonder who will die this year".  Because it seemed like I was losing someone every year.

Boy that's depressing, huh?  Well this gave me a chance to open up to some of you.  I hope I didn't turn anyone away!  If you have anything to share, please click the link at the top to join in!


Mocha with Linda said...

Thanks so much for sharing. You have had a lot of heartache in your life.

No matter how old we are, we're never ready to lose our moms!

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing Bonnie. Funny the things you don't know about people you think you know. My grandfather and our neighbor died within a few days of each other when I was 6. I remember going over to the neighbor's house and having a morbid curiosity to go in the bathroom - I thought they had his body in the bathtub! I can't even imagine losing one of my parents or brother...

skoots1mom said...

lost my brother..that's a hard one...
all b4!
a significant change in were growing up quickly.
No one will replace your mom
your journey can truly help someone else going through it for the first time..
thanks for sharing

bp said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I have found that participating the last few weeks in Flashback Friday I have remembered many memories, happy and sad. It is nice to "meet" you through this meme. God bless you.

Barbara H. said...

That would be so hard to lose a sibling. My mother's death was the hardest of all for me, too.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Reading all these remembrances this morning has been such a bittersweet blessing. We hold on to our loved ones in our hearts, but sometime it really does help when we share it with others.

Blessings and thanks for sharing!


rita said...

Thank you for sharing.
You have been schooled in loss.
May you have abundant grace and comfort.
I have yet to lose a sibling or parent. So I don't know what that is like. My father is failing, we wait.