Yesterday my best friend’s dad passed away. We went to visit her family over Christmas, and it was clear that he would not live much longer. I am going with her to the funeral.
I’ve never been close to death — never wanted to be. I avoided being near my family members when they were dying. I guess it frightened me, or at least my emotions frightened me.
Sometimes it was due to an issue I had with the individual. For example, I had hard feelings towards my paternal grandmother due to a variety of seemingly small incidents (and a couple of big ones)
that had accumulated over the years. When she was close to dying, I was living in another city attending graduate school. I could have gone home sooner, but I waited, and by the time I reached home, she had already died. I was greatly relieved.
But that was 21 years ago, and I have changed in those years. Two years ago, my maternal grandmother passed. I am living in another city again, and I was not there when she died, but I had visited several times over the preceding year, and I had no issues with her. I wish I had been there. I don’t know if it would have made any difference to her, but it would have made a difference to me.