The sudden death of our neighbor has my heart sick and sad. Just a wonderful, helpful, kind man gone in a flash. It’s got me needing to vent. So here goes.
As a child, I never experienced losing anyone. Of all that I had to fear as a girl, death was not one of them. I didn’t realize how blessed I really was. At 19 years old, my family was sideswiped with the terminal illness of my father. Even then with death imminent for him, I was spared that sinking helpless feeling death leaves for 16 1/2 years.
The first huge death I experienced was my Aunt Gwen in 2005. I was really sick and she would talk to me on the phone for hours and pray for me. What I didn’t know was she was doing all this for me from her sick bed. We had grown extremely close even though I never laid eyes on her in life. I remember feeling completely lost without her and if it weren’t for my mom making me feel so close to her big sister, I wouldn’t have made it. I couldn’t see myself getting that close to any other Aunt or relative again.
Slowly as my dad fought through double pneumonia, high fevers, and sickness, we lost a lot of his relatives over the years. When my dad passed in ’09, he unknowingly lost all but two of his ten siblings. By 2010, death was a familiar adversary. I stopped going to funerals because I didn’t want to see any more relatives put in the ground. Death hung over us like the plague. My family suddenly went from being known as strong to weakened by harsh losses. Let me go back.
In January of 2009, we had no idea our family would be so broken before that Fathers Day in June. My Daddy died March 23rd, on the morning of his 68th birthday, my oldest brother died three days before Father’s Day in June. Broken we buried the head of two generations and picked up most of the bigger pieces of our lives and moved forward. Then as we clung to our wounded hearts and learned to do so many first without my Daddy and brother, my Poppy died at 92 years old, three days before Christmas. We ended 2009, minus three generations of men who had led our family. From that year to this one, I must admit, I’ve been afraid of death.
No one will ever understand how much love and respect I have for my mother. She endured losing her husband; the love of her life, her first born son and her father, blow after blow after blow, three months apart with her head held high. Her heart was broken but she never tilted her crown. Not even once. She’s always been praying women, wife, and mother. She took our family to grief counseling and stayed committed to getting her remaining children through the worse year of our lives. If I can be half the woman she is, I will be enough.
March of this year, my Mom passed out at home, I was so terrified of losing her. All I heard my brother say was passed out, and stroke. Thank God she was ok. Meanwhile, in the last two years, she’s nearly lost me twice. Even though I am afraid of losing anyone, it seems like it’s me and her against the world, so to speak. I have two sisters out of town, and one sister and one brother in town. We are blessed we still have one another. But growing up under circumstances that weren’t the best, has divided us in such a way we do not know how to fix it.
For this reason, I don’t open up or let many people in. If I do, you’ve got to be ready to ride with me. My life feels full of holes, but thank God my momma taught me how to sew. As I spent this year mending my life and healing my soul, I can only pray that those select few in my circle know my heart and understand me beyond my actions or words, straight down to my spirit.
Also, I know there is no fear in God, so somehow I’ve got to get past this fear. I’ve worked through a few of my fears successfully, I.e. social phobia, agoraphobia, germs (lol), others opinions of me. I know that since I was able to handle those, I’ll get through this too. I think about fear all the time. Mostly how far I’ve come but then how scared death makes me.
But I know God will bring silver about linings somehow. Such as my brothers passing has brought me closer to his older children. As they had children of their own, they ask me to share things about their dad. I know their dad, grandpa, and great grandpa are watching over them all.
Death is a sad subject, one which I, personally, don’t take well. I am working on myself and I know God is not finished with me yet.
In loving memory of my Aunt Gwen, our three generations of men Arthur Furr, Sr., Arthur Furr, Jr., and Luther Clemons, Sr., and our neighbor Chief Deputy Harry Montgomery, our protector and friends who always looked out for us!
(King James Study Bible)