Sunday, October 5, 2008

On Birthdays and Deathdays

Yesterday, my mother-in-law, Paul's mother died. She had a peaceful death and as some would say, "a good death." I think what is meant by that is that there was not a lot of physical suffering at the end, but just more sleeping and finally a final breath.

Interestingly, the day Margaret died was also my 67th birthday. Some birthday present!! At first, I thought this is going to be bittersweet in the future, celebrating my birthday and always remembering that's the day Paul's Mom died.

But, on the other hand, it will be easy to remember what day she died, the anniversary of her death. For me, death days are hard to remember. I always have to go back and refigure or think of some signpost that helps me get the date right. That won't be true of Margaret's death date. I know!

This has caused me to wonder about something. Wonder why we don't celebrate deathdays as we do birthdays. Especially if our loved one was a believer, a Christian.

Think about it: we celebrate someone coming into this world with all its pain and suffering and we grieve when someone leaves this world to go to a better place, free of all tears and sorrow, pain and suffering. Now, how strange is this?

What would a "deathday" celebration look like? Perhaps on the death day each year later, the family would gather and reminisce about that loved one, looking at pictures and sharing memories. I know that when I go to the cemetery to the graves of my sister, my dad, my grandparents, and others, that's what I do somewhat. I think back to who they were and what they meant to me and how much I miss them.

Just a thought as I start the process of working through grief and sadness. 


Alyce Faulkner said...

Mary, I'm sorry for you loss.
I agree completely with your premise here.
I have found myself in past years responding with sadness when someone I know dies, even knowing that they are now with God-that is certainly not sad for them. Once again, I find I'm the one who needs my mind adjusted. I do long to think like Him.
And Happy Birthday.
Grace to you and yours.

Denise said...

Please give our love to Paul and Happy Birthday. I agree with what you say. I truly want my family to celebrate when I die as I will have gone where I've been aiming these years. Again God bless and in HIS Love,


Anonymous said...

Mary: I too am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother n'law, Paul's mother. When loved ones die, they are deeply missed. You and Paul have both been through it this year in a short period of time. My prayers and love are with you. Truly.