Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons and Comfort from the Past

One thing I've been spending a crazy amount of time on is Family History. I have always found geneology to be very addicting and quite calming. The new Family Search Website has reawakened the obsession and I think my mouse-ing fingers are getting carpal tunnel...

One thing I have found cathartic this time around is taking note of the sheer numbers of children who have died in infancy along my family line, including countless sets of twins. It's yet another reminder that I am not alone and, more importantly, everybody dies. It sounds so obvious when you say it out loud, like any of us really believe we are going to live forever. But when I laid my baby to rest, I had to truly think about how that inevitability affects me personally. It was the first time I really accepted my own mortality. And I can admit that there were days that I would have welcomed death gladly, moments when joining Dex felt so much more endurable than living without him and living with the pain of our loss and our fear of the road ahead. When anyone would say "Dex is in a better place", I was screaming in my heart "YES!! I KNOW THAT!! And right now I'd really prefer to be with him!" Sooner or later we are all going to die. I'm not trying to be morbid, just factual. Our exit from this realm will be a special and appointed experience for each and every one of us, just like the day we arrived.

I have been trolling through records of families in the 1800's. We all know how dismal life expectancies were at that time. While I don't rejoice in the sorrow that I know they felt, I feel comforted in some measure by knowing that those who have gone on before understand the path I find myself walking. If they can do it, I can do it... Maybe.

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