Death of a Stranger

Today, the world is a sadder place for me because an ex-anonymous blogger died: Tanta of Calculated Risk. I didn't know her personally and I didn't even get in touch with her via email. But I have read her writings for the past 2+ years or so and I cannot help but cry over her death.

I guess time creates bonds which are not quickly severed and the end creates sadness (for me, at any rate). The other death I can remember crying for rather recently was over Princess Diana which I didn't understand myself but was saddened anyway.

I heard of an acquaintance passing away recently but that didn't make me cry, probably because I lacked the depth of relationship necessary to cry.

I suppose if my paternal grandmother died (she's in her late 90's and still is rather healthy), I won't be crying too much either since I was never close to her (we have never lived close to her all my life and rarely visited her -- especially once we moved to the US: I have never visited her with my parents nor with my sister). Two of my uncles and one aunt died in the past 10 years but I didn't cry for them since I didn't know them very well.

It's sad that today, death is such an unspeakable thing: we see killings and murders on TV but death is pretty much a taboo in this modern era. For me, it's much closer since I have volunteered at nursing home where many (all?) people are in holding pattern before they die (not necessarily a hospice but not too far from it, either) (and have known a few who did die). I have gotten to know many people who faced death in their own ways. (I suppose that for those who do not believe in life after death, it would probably be a too painful exercise of hopelessness.) Also, my mother had breast cancer and a stroke, so death won't be a surprise for me.

When extended families were the norm, people died left and right and it wasn't a huge deal (one reason for having many children was to insure that the family survives infant mortality, etc.). However, now with only one or two children, death is much for shocking -- if you saw the footage from China after the earthquake this year, there were parents who lost all their meaning for life when their only child (with one child policy) died inside a school building.

What can be done about preparing my sons? One reason for the move from Austin to SoCal was to bring them closer to my parents as they face their old age (i.e., death). I suppose having them volunteer at nursing home or hospice would be good so I'll be thinking about it as an activity as my sons finish off high school (if my parent's health deteriorates, the focus will be on the family but if not, volunteering nearby would probably make the best sense).
"Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Cor 13:54b-57]
Copyright 2008, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.