When I was a kid, my Mom used to say “you’re not supposed to bury your kids, your kids bury you.
Weird thing to say to a 6 year old, mom. My mom got sick a few years later, and that lingered for about 22 years, until she died in 2011.
But, not before she had to bury one of her children in 2009.
there’s an inherent sadness in having to bury a loved one. I would say, from watching several, having to bury a child is 1 million times sadder.
This will sound crass, but, anyone older than me that dies, I feel sad for them. I mourn them, and For their loved ones. But, I don’t feel as bad for them.
Anyone older than me, they’ve lived a life. They have seen and done things that define their life. Some good. Some bad.
Conversely, anyone younger than me, devastates me. Like I have no words to describe the feeling. Knowing the younger people’s life, is over.
I’m 38. So, every year that bar raises a little. Anyone younger than me who dies, did not get to live a full life. Did not get a chance to see and do things that many of us take for granted.
Three deaths stick out for me, which in my life, I’ve unfortunately had to bury lots of people, both friends and family alike.
- My brother. Who I have talked about many times. This one probably has defined my perspective throughout my 30s and kind of changed the trajectory of my life a bit.
- My friend Zoe. she was 15. a bright young soul, who befriended me when I was the Ghost of Christmas Past in a kids play a few years back. Probably one of the silliest, sweetest kids I’ve ever known.
- Finally, my Marvel Movie brothers son, passed away last week. He was 12. This man and his wife, are more family to me than my family I grew up with. They are so wonderful. I’ve been at his wedding, and subsequently every anniversary since then. Mostly because Marvel movies premiere around their anniversary. He is one of those, people you find a way to be where he is when he needs you. That’s my brother.
I say this all, because in any of these instances, I haven’t had words to really convey feelings of what these parents must be going through. I didn’t even really know what to say to my parents other than “I’m sorry.” Which is not really saying much.
The cliche “it’s God’s will, or “it’s God’s plan” is a face punchable offense. I’m not kidding. I would never say that. I’ve had it said to me, and I was like “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.” Not something that any one should ever say to anyone who has lost someone.
This week, I found myself googling what to say. And to be honest, it was all stupid. I felt the best we could do, was just to be here. Our third brother, Fred, from Houston is here as well. For anything they may need. Do anything they may need help with.
Oddly enough, I heard from Zoe’s mom, yesterday. It’s as if the universe wanted to remind me of all the sweet kids I’ve known that have passed over the years.
I feel bad for anyone that is younger who dies. It’s one of those things that sticks with me. As I’ve said, I don’t know how to convey proper words to anyone who has lost a child. It’s one of those unspeakable tragedies that wouldn’t even be wished upon your worst enemy.
I can however, offer a word of advice to their siblings. Which I have done this week to a 10 year old. Coming from someone who has lost a sibling, I left some advice for her. Some things I’ve learned over the last decade, that hopefully helps her. I’m not her uncle by blood, but, I consider myself an uncle to her because her dad is and always will be my brother.
Otherwise, I have no words.