My father on the death of parents.

My father on the death of parents. August 30, 2016

It’s either another slow news day or the ludicrousness of religion and politics is now becoming familiar.  O.o

Either way, I thought I would share something my father sent me this morning. It seems Gene Wilder’s passing got dad thinking of his own mortality, so he sent the following to my brother and me this morning. I share it with you because I hope it resonates with you as it has resonated with me:

Morbid stuff, but I wanted to pass this along to you two because we usually don’t get grief counseling in advance, and frequently not in arrears, either.

So here’s the deal. At some point, your parents will die. Hopefully you will feel some sadness or angst or discombobulation or an undescribed emptiness over this. I know I did when my parents died. By the way, it is easier with the passing of the second one because you know what to expect in the way of your feelings and will have developed some psychological tools to deal with it.

When we die, you will also come into some bucks that will make the rest of your life easier. You will feel gladness over this windfall. You should. I did. It’s normal. How can anyone not experience gladness over a more pleasant, easier life with constantly nagging financial worries being somewhat zapped?

You will also probably feel some guilt over feeling both sadness and gladness. This is normal, but difficult. I’m writing to tell you there is nothing wrong with holding contradictory feelings, so don’t beat yourselves up with guilt when that happens. You may not be able to avoid the guilt, but know your Dad says to let it go asap; that guilt is something you do not deserve nor should feel for some obscure reason. Fuck that.

Feelings aren’t logic. You can’t hold contradictory positions in logic. However, with feelings you can hold a bucketful of emotional stew and it’s okay. You can be happy and sad at the same time……I think maybe the word “bittersweet” would apply.

This is something I didn’t know in advance and wish I had known, so I’m telling you in advance. Don’t thank me now, buy me a Lamborghini some day to show your appreciation for this morbid Tuesday morning ugh.

I didn’t know when I was younger that one day, once you get old enough, people in your world simply start dying. It’s simply part of life. And, eventually, your parents will be among them. There’s no easy way to deal with death. You can tackle your feelings from top down to the best of your ability, but there’s simply no way to stop it from hurting.

But hearing this ahead of time actually helps, and the separation between contradictory feelings and contradictory points of logic is something I always knew but had never conceptualized in that way (this fact is very convenient for people who make decisions with their feelings, as many religious people do).

This is why my parents are my heroes and my best friends. Having those two in my life is the very definition of winning the cosmic lottery.


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