I know nothing of suffering
My father prepared me for his death from the time I was 7 years old. When, at 15, it happened, I still could not contain my screams which echoed off the walls of a hospital waiting room filled with aunts and uncles and my mother. I know nothing of suffering.
I demanded to see him, to feel his body one last time. I needed to touch him to believe it. I helped to choose his coffin and he was buried three days later, mourned by daughter, wife, friends he touched, and a son. I know nothing of suffering.
I am a father now and imagine the terror of my father sensing death’s immanence, about to leave a wife, a daughter, a son. I imagine the shear sadness of knowing you are dying and it is not the idea of your own death, but the idea of not being with those whom you love. I know nothing of suffering.
I have stood in the room with my wife’s dying father. I have watched death transform the glittering gaze of my spouse into a dull, drawn, darkness directly descended from the deceased. I know nothing of suffering.
I have laid beside my wife’s sadness watching her soul ebb and flow with memory and longing for her father, as I churned with memories of my own. I know nothing of suffering.
I have watched my family’s sudden and subtle shifts as a grandmother, a friend, an uncle, a grandmother, a grandfather, pass away with each year. Death’s disorganization requires re-alignment of rote roles. I know nothing of suffering.
I know of sadness, of deep, abiding sadness and whether 40 days or 40 months, I know I should let go and allow each to ascend so the Spirit can arrive and anoint me.
“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” Acts 4:10