The Death of a Classmate = A Dose of Mortality

download-2As I was casually scrolling through Facebook and came across a post saying how much a member of my high school class will be missed.  I reread the post confused.  Still disbelieving, I went to her page and saw a post from her family with her funeral service information. My heart broke. ‘T’ and I were the same age. ‘T’ had four children. FOUR! One is not even a year old yet. She loved her babies with everything she had. She learned to remove herself from toxic relationships.  She endured the loss of her sisters passing. She was a single mother who provided for her children.

I couldn’t find any information on what happened so I messaged around to get details. I’d missed the funeral because I didn’t know anything about her passing until today. I was told she had a sudden shortness of breath and passed out.  She couldn’t be revived. I am emotionally heavy right now.  I know ‘T’ didn’t want to leave her babies. I know she didn’t want to leave her mother. Her mother already endured the loss of one child.

Two years ago, another high school classmate of mine passed unexpectantly. She was married with two daughters. Her family and close friends loved her dearly.  That was hard to digest.  All death is. She had a growth that went undetected; only discovered during autopsy.

I went in for a physical and found that my blood pressure was high. It is connected to my weight.  I’ve not been diligent at getting the weight off.  Older bodies need more effort to lose weight than younger bodies. My younger body efforts with my older body were only good for five pounds and not the 15 I needed. These two passings, but especially the most recent one, have me taking my health very seriously. I don’t think my classmates were unhealthy but I don’t think they were as aware of their health as they could have been. We, mothers, make sure our children are taken care off and often dismiss anything we might notice as odd for ourselves.  The physical I went in for in December was the first physical I have had in almost 20 years. After I started college, I would only see a doctor for sickness or any other concern that seemed obvious to me.  The only doctor I saw annually was my OBGYN. I figured if they noticed something that required my primary care doctor, I would go see them then. How ignorant!

Too much rides on our health for us to take it for granted. No more. My classmates taught me that.


“Over Grieving”

Ever since I got pregnant, I began “over” grieving for parents whose children pass especially if they die of a violent crime or terminal illness.  My heart aches for the Mommy who miscarried.  I go into a state of shock and disbelief whenever I hear of a young life cut short.  I don’t grieve simply because of the horror of it all.  I grieve because I think if I grieve hard enough for someone else’s loss, I won’t experience something similar.  I know that is a falsehood.  I have not been one to take someone else’s pain lightly.  I remain sympathetic towards all have a death in the family but over grieving doesn’t help them nor me.

I find it hard to enjoy my family when I know someone else is hurting from a loss in their’s .

I just saw that Phylicia Barnes was found dead today.  My heart aches for her mother.  My heart is heavy for all who knew her.  I don’t know how to grieve for someone else but enjoy my life and my reality.

I am not planning a funeral today.  I am not trying to imagine how I could possibly celebrate the next major holiday without one of my loved ones.  I am not trying to remember how my daughter smelled today.  I am not trying to remember what it felt like to have my husband hug me.  Those are all things to be grateful for, and I am.  I just don’t know how to get past this sadness that I feel every time I hear a tragedy or how to be sympathetic without trying to carry a load that is not mine to bear.