My upstairs neighbor’s grandmother passed away this week. I know Bridget (to chat with now and then) and of course, her two daughters who live with her. I know her dad Mike as well – he owns a construction company and has been doing the work at my bestie’s as they remodel their home. I’ve never met anyone else in the family, although this lady had a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I had an opportunity to see Bridget after I’d learned about the passing, and made it a point to offer my condolences. I knew the lady had been in and out of the hospital, suffering from falls, but not much else. Bridget thanked me and was able to say that, despite her grief, she could picture her grandmother dancing in heaven without worrying about falling. A nice sentiment!
I could relate to her feelings, because it was that way for me when my mother died 20 years ago. The loss, the pain and the grief seemed overwhelming and unbearable, but a small voice in my mind also reminded me that she was no longer in a wheelchair. For me, my visual was picturing her standing in front center, leading a chorus of angels in song.
I was thinking about this again this morning, embracing her understanding that there can still be a blessing in sadness. And I had this thought… Knowing how my mother suffered for over a year, wouldn’t I willingly take on the pain of losing her in exchange for her release from pain? My answer to myself was instant, “Damned right I would!”
The change to my mindset was instant and monumental. Over and over again, I would gladly suffer through grief to remember that her pain was gone! The large voice of pain became a small voice and the small voice about her suffering being over rang out loud and clear!
When I stumbled across this quote by David Kessler, it resonated in me, confirmed that this new way of looking at the pain of grief is brilliant. I wish I had had it 20 years ago when I lost my mom; wish I had had it 4 years ago when I lost my brother and dad. I didn’t…. but I have it now. And I will hold this new concept near for when I get a bit sad about the losses of those loved ones. I’ll hold it near should I ever have need for it again (meanwhile praying I won’t ever need it!).
If you, too, have watched a loved one physically suffer before passing, give this way of looking at it a try. I suspect that you, too, would gladly take on pain to release your loved one from it.
One thought on “I’ll Gladly Take the Pain…”
Thank you for your insight into a difficult topic, Jody. Having watched my parents decline in health, I would have gladly taken their pain.