I am member of the dead parent club. My mom passed away in 1999. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. But it was. I miss her. My daughters never really got to know her. D1 was 6 and D2 was 3. They have no real memories of her. And it’s such a shame. The things that would have been taught/learned/shared. I had my grandparents around until I was an adult. I even had great-grandparents until I was 12. My dad’s dad passed away when I was 14, mom’s dad passed away when I was in my 20’s. Mom’s mom passed away when I was in my mid 30’s and dad’s mom passed away when I was in my late 30’s.
I always think about all the family and friends who have passed away that I knew. My great-grandpa (grandpa and grandma tick-tock were my names for them .. they had clocks in the house that they would set off and let chime to entertain me) passed away when I was 5. I still remember the phone call my mom got and how upset she was. I remember the funeral too. I remember both grandfather’s funerals. My dad’s step brother passed away after that. My best man’s dad passed away shortly after I was married. My wife’s grandfather passed after D1 was born but she was only 18mos. so she didn’t know him. Then my mom passed away. D1 knew her but D2 came along after mom got sick so she never really got to know mom. Then mom’s mom passed away. My best man’s mom passed away next. After that I’ve not really heard much from him. Then dad’s mom. I have a friend whose son passed away while at college. I know of friends whose parents have passed. And with each person’s passing I’ve become more and more numb to death. It’s a fact of life. I think the only thing that would really change the meaning of death for me is losing my wife or daughters. That is something that would really eat at me. I know it sounds selfish or perhaps morbid, but I hope I go before they do. I could not deal with the grief. I want my kids to have long, healthy, full lives.
Yeah, Memorial day is hard. It’s not just a day for decorating the graves of those who have given their lives in service of our country, it’s taken on a whole new spin (thanks to commericalism) and it is now a time to remember all who have passed.