Thursday, November 1, 2007

every family has a ghost..

When you lose someone close to you, you look around at those who have not yet been faced with that pain and you both envy and pity them. You envy them because they have not yet suffered the unspeakable but inevitable loss, and you pity them because you know what they are in for. I was watching a friend of mine with his parents the other night and it occurred to me how big of a hole losing a parent puts in your life. People lose their parents every day so there's this impression that it is not that bad, that it is survivable. But for those of us who have suffered the loss, we know there is piece of yourself that is lost forever. You go through the rest of your days trying to move forward but always knowing that you have left a piece of yourself behind. It is like a bomb hits your home but you carry on as normal. And I recently read a book by Mitch Albom called "One More Day". It's about a man who gets to spend one last day with his dead mother. In the book he says, "every family has a ghost." As I was watching my friend with his parents, I realized that his family does not yet have a ghost. And I started thinking about families I knew that had lost someone close to them, and how different they were before and after. Before it happens, you enjoy the luxury of taking someone for granted. You make plans as if they will always be around, even though we all know at some point we will lose them. Those are the times you can be in denial and not have to think or deal with the pain. I envied my friend as I watched him. I wanted to be where he was. And then I pictured what he and his family will be like when one or both of his parents pass on. They will carry on and move forward as a family, because you just have to. But you carry on always with this heavy pain in your heart that things are not the same without them. That's the "ghost" in every family. That person or persons that were your whole life, and the empty space left behind by their absence. The empty space is the ghost. You can see it in the faces of people who have lost someone. Like they have endured a war and something in their eyes tells you something inside of them has died, too. They put on a brave face, but you can feel the void. Every family has a ghost...

1 comment:

  1. The movie of the book will be on ABC this Sunday. Oprah is presenting it. When I saw previews I cried. Then I thought..If I had one more day with my mom what would I do. I know the first hour would be just letting her hold me while I cried. It has been 24 years since my mom died. I wish she would have been able to know me as an adult. I cannot wait to see the movie, I also love to read so I am sure I will read the book as well.