I got a call last night that kind of broke my heart in a strange way. With that said it wasn’t as if I was breaking up with a boyfriend or losing a wife. It was a different kind of heartbreak.
In fact, the call wasn’t anything bad, actually it was just the opposite, it was someone I haven’t spoken to on the phone in a long time calling to let me know they care. The hard part was that the person who called me is very sick and I could hear it in every word.
Every breath seemed to ache, every sound coming from the other end of the phone mourned of pain, every thought expressed seemed strained and every word seemed to slur. Every step made my heart explode dramatically in my chest. I wasn’t expecting any of this.
Life is what it is. We know from an early age that the life span for a human isn’t forever. It starts with birth and ends with death, but it’s the rounding out at the end that is always the hardest part to deal with as both the observer and the person experiencing it.
When I was walking to work this morning thinking about the phone call last night all those I know and love who have passed away over the years raced through my head. I tried to remember what it was like listening to them age, get old and get sick. That’s when I realized that I’ve never lost someone slowly.
One grandmother died in a car accident and the other died due to an accident while eating lunch. A friend weeks before my high school graduation took his own life. Other than that I have, thankfully, not had to deal with much loss in that kind of way in my life. I’ve not had to sit by and just watch someone suffer day after day after day until their time came.
I always thought that the shock of losing someone unexpectedly made it worse, but now, after that call last night, I realize that you can never truly be prepared. Unexpected or not, your heart and soul will ache when someone you love isn’t doing well or passes away.
Thankfully the person I spoke to could be around for a long time to come, maybe not, but I know I get the calls from other people telling me this person isn’t doing well and is just hanging in there. I’m slowly told repeatedly to prepare myself like people don’t want me to be shocked.
No matter what, I’ll be shocked, I’ll be hurt, I’ll be sad, but I’ll know that no matter how hard or how inappropriate of a time it is for me I will answer those calls from this person so I can always know that I had a chance to say I love you one more time.