Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

Death and misery or …

without comments

Dear Son,

last week we heard the sad news that our next door neighbour Arthur had died while in hospital for a hip replacement. The funeral is this Friday and your mother and I are both planning to go. Arthur had not been mobile for awhile but we heard his fine singing voice through the walls on many occasions as well as his instructions to the family dog to “Shatt App!”.

I enjoyed my chats with Arthur when he used to stand by his front door looking out during summers past. He told stories of an East End that has now gone forever and about being bombed during the war. One story that I remember was of his brother, who was in the Army, and back home on leave during the war. Despite a full on air raid taking place his brother was sat outside smoking and watching the bombs fall. During a lull in the bombing Arthur had tried to coax him back inside, but he refused. “I’d rather die in the open air” his brother had told him, “than cooped up in an air raid shelter.”

It isn’t just Arthur’s death has had me thinking miserable thoughts. I was listening to the Layer Cake sound track today and it features the only good Duran Duran song, Ordinary World. For someone I once knew, it provided comfort as it reminded them of the good times they had spent with a friend who had died far too young and the strength to celebrate that life.

Not long after listening to that track I heard the news from a very old and dear friend that her father had passed away this morning. He had been unwell for a while and became very ill yesterday, she was able to get the train to Sunderland and spend the night at his bed side with other family members, spend a few precious hours with him and be there as he passed away.

With all this death around compounded by the all the misery in the world heaped on us by religious fascists; praying to the god of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, money or a pathetic ideology that relegates humans to skin colours; it is quite easy to become depressed.

But death is just the natural order of things and is as inevitable as night following day. I know from personal experience that it is very hard when someone you are very close to dies but the pain eases in time and reminders of the good times bring a smile to the face. Yes, with that smile comes a longing that they could be here to see what has changed but it is not a painful experience.

“Don’t curse the darkness – light a candle” the Chinese proverb goes. Instead of moping around I have been making a conscience effort to look for good and inspiring things. Instead of mourning for the dead I want to try and make a difference to those who are still living. My mothers favourite phrase summed it up this:

Life is for the living. The dead can look after themselves.

Written by Administrator

September 5th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Family,Memories

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