Saturday, April 26, 2008

The things of the dead and the living

This was one of my deeper thoughts a few weeks ago when my brother emailed me and said that he didn't want to go through our recently deceased aunt's purse because he felt strange about it. I'm amazed at the depth of compassion and insight that I can muster for other people.

"I understand how you feel about going through Aunt Mary's things. I think that is a part of the legacy our ancestors leave for us. We all will at some point in our lives have the experience of 'going through the things of the dead', the things they leave behind for us to settle for them and the things we have to settle for ourselves. I guess it's a 'coming to terms' with things as they now are as a result of the change that their lives and deaths have made in our lives."

Our cousin passed away in late February and our aunt passed in late March. Our mother has Alzheimer's dementia and heart health challenges. This is no fun at all.

I've been suffering from back, neck and shoulder problems from a past auto accident. Some days all I can do is lay flat on my back because that's the only time I don't hurt. I keep a towel at work so that I can lay on the floor and read student's papers, which is a good portion of my job. One of the folks at work was kind enough to make me a stand on which I can place my papers while I type and write feedback for students. I've never been a complainer and all of this asking for accommodations and adjustments at work and elsewhere makes me uncomfortable. I can't sit for long periods of time, so when I go to church, I end up standing in the back of the sanctuary for part of the service. I get uncomfortable about this because it brings attention to me. People see me get up at odd times and walk down the aisle. This makes me nervous, so I wait until the last possible minute, until I'm so uncomfortable I have no choice but to get up from my seat.

Where this all leads is back to the beginning. I can muster up quite a bit of compassion for others and not nearly enough for myself.
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