I really do not want to be polemic, especially when it comes to such delicate topics as the death of one or both parents, but reading a post I came across recently, “10 things that changed me after the death a parent“, I cannot refrain from sharing my reaction.
I am really sorry for the author, and I must say her pain is felt all through the post, but there are a couple of things that just did not sound completely ok to me. I sort of do not agree with her choice of making a decalogue of sorrow. I know nowadays everything is broken down in points. I also do it from time to time for the sake of structure, but choosing to bullet point the grief one feels about the loss of the parents is something that sounds weird to me.
I also do not like the use of “shit” in the post. I may sound old-fashioned but reading “Then it hits me; shit, I can’t call them.” takes all the empathy away from me. I find it rude and unnecessary.
As a matter of fact, this post sounds very personal to me, and touches points like her physical reaction to the pain and the devastating effect her parents’ death had on her family. Which is absolutely ok, but I don’t really see what kind of reflection this can provide the readers with. It’s her story, her personal circumstances, and we all know our reaction to such events very much depend on the age of the parents, their health conditions, our relationship to them, etc.
This point I honestly find disrespectful. And although I know she means good, I wish she would think twice when posting this on a widely read magazine:
“I would not trade my time with them for anything, but sometimes I think it would have been easier had you [I believe here she means “they”] died when I was very young. The memories would be less.”
Well, I lost my father when I was 17. He never met my husband nor my children. My memories with him stop when I was not even an adult. So much has happened in my life since he died, and I often wonder how it would have felt to have him in it. I am sure he would have been proud of me, because I shaped my life on the values that were his: traveling, meeting new people, speaking foreign languages. But this does not change the fact that I only have 17 years of memories instead of the half a century I have with my mother. I honestly do not think that I will regret having spent so many years with her, when she dies.
I am actually getting ready for it these days. My mom’s health is declining quickly, and I know it will not be long before we say good-bye to her. I have worked – and I am still working a lot – in a variety of ways to be ready when the day comes, and when it does, I might change my mind on this post. But I am sure of one thing: I will never ever think it would have been easier with less memories. I will always be grateful that my mom enjoyed such a long life and I’ll cherish every single moment I have spent with her.