Thursday, August 30, 2007

Birth and Death

I've had a really strange week so far. I've had to attend two funerals, one for a co-worker who died tragically and one for my Aunt Ann who died suddenly but who had a history of health problems so it wasn't completely unexpected. The moods at the two funeral services were so different you could feel it in the air.

I was a pallbearer for my aunt, and even though it wasn't really a lot of work — you carry it from the back door of Hennessey's Funeral Home about 10 feet to the hearse, then another 10 feet to the burial site — it was a very profound feeling to hold up part of a person's weight and help them along on their final journey.

My father and his brothers and sister all shared a lot of memories of them growing up, which is always a side of my fatehr's childhood I never hear about directly from him in the same way. It seems lately that the only times we get out to Georgetown these days to see my father's family is for yet another funeral. I guess when you reach a certain age it just starts to happen, or you become more aware of it.

I still don't find myself getting very upset about death when it's a natural process, I just imagine it as part of life. My aunt had a bit of a hard life but she had a lot of friends and seemed to live each day as best as she could. When she had her 50th birthday she was very happy to reach 50 years old. When you think that most people would see turning 50 as a reason to feel depressed, I think it's quite a refreshing attitude to have had.

Then in between the funerals I attended a pre-natal class as part of the information gathering process I'm doing as part of a consulting job I'm starting into for a parenting support group here on the island. All of the parents-to-be were paying very close attention to the doula giving the presentation on various ways to ease the labour process, and everyone was asking questions and discussing their new babies, and it was all a very positive and upbeat atmosphere. Going straight from being in the receiving line at a wake to that was very heartening in a way. I was left with the comfort of knowing that time and life flow along mostly the way they're supposed to.

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By al - 11:08 AM |

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