Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tough Lessons

This morning, my 9 year old daughter came downstairs crying. In her hands was the lifeless remains of one parakeet. I took the deceased budgy from her and held her for a moment while she cried. I asked her if she would like to put on her shoes and go to the angel statue in the backyard (our "Potter's Field" for deceased critters) and bury her parakeet. She sobbed a tearful "yes," and went to get her shoes while I sought out the spade. After the deceased was gingerly placed in the grave, I held her again as she cried and reminded her that death was a part of life.

Been there, have you? Sad, isn't it? Sadly necessary that we learn about mortality when we're little by the loss of a treasured pet. Later in life, the losses seem to increase in pain.

I still cannot sit at a mass and hear the hymn "On Eagle's Wings," without openly crying. I sang this to my grandmother on her deathbed as we stood watch over her last days in hospice. It was one of my favorites and she did so love to hear her grandson sing. I shared this talent with her because it was all I had to give her as she prepared to depart this life. Who knows what one hears or doesn't as they lay on their deathbed, preparing to meet their God? I imagine she left this world, on eagle's wings, for the glory of heaven, and I find comfort.

Miss you, Grandma.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I pity those who cannot face such emotional experiences with a sense of hope and understanding. I also pity a man who is to "tough" to admit what makes him cry. I feel a tear or two when that song is included in mass. They are mostly tears of joy as my heart opens up to God to thank him for my many blessings. You are a man of great inspiration, honesty and integrity. The very definiton of a friend.