Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Thoughts on Dying

I just watched the film La Vie en Rose, and it made me think of my gram. Edith Piaf and she were born in the same year, 1913. To think what my gram went through living the 20th century… My grandparents loved the songs of Piaf, and I grew up listening to her records at their house.
When people become elderly and sickly, it’s my experience that, even if they keep their marbles, rational thinking gets lost somewhere in their suffering. When you are dying it’s fair to become self-centered and self-absorbed (the movie portrays this well). The closest I’ve been to this state was going into labor, when you know something momentous is happening, but you have no idea how you will handle it emotionally or physically. I know labor isn’t death, but both are unavoidable and overwhelming and scary.
I went through an emotional rollercoaster living with a dying woman. She both wanted me to be with her and resented me for the things I wasn’t there for. She couldn’t handle my kids, but she loved them. She wasn’t always honest with me, but that wasn’t new; my family works in labyrinthine ways.
Last night my little guy, who is named after her father, said he missed his great grandmother. He’s such a sensitive boy, he was trying to comfort me.
Sorry to be so maudlin, but this is my blog and I’ll gnash my teeth if I want to.

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