I wrote this a while back and with the Jedi Memorial Day, thought It might be appropriate with the feelings that can sometimes come up when thinking of those who passed...
We all die, we all deal with death at some time, and we come to terms with various kinds of death. These are things that are part of our lives and who we are, some may even come to the temple looking for meaning, or feeling lost after losing another. But some of us deal with complex situations, a loved one who is in pain, but doctors won't pull the plug, a family member who caused much pain who had drug problems dying... and many other possibilities. The mixture of emotions, the decisions, they do make us grow... to grow up, to grow inward, to sometimes grow a shell.
I was told a quote recently that put a bit of perspective I hadn't noticed before, the quote is: "everyone brings light into the world. Some when they are born, some while they live, and others when they die" and it got me thinking in terms of the balance that we carry, and perceive... Some people bring light into our lives, are giving and supportive, and help make life more bearable, while others bring darkness and cause mayhem, pain, loss, and disappointment. Its not too much of a stretch that when people that could fit in different categories pass on, we are going to feel different about it.
The situation of death can have an effect on us as well... When my grandmother passed on she had both Lung Cancer and Alzheimer's and lived at home and I was the Primary Caregiver, there was a point that she didn't know who or where she was and the cancer made it not possible for her to breath when awake because she would have freakouts, start coughing and be in pain, when it got to a point that she was probably going to die slowly and violently I talked with the doctor about her medicines and off the record asked if there was things I could do that he couldn't to ease her pain. He perscribed enough pain-killer and a few other things to last for a month and told me to give her a daily dose hourly to keep her under and out of pain, me and my mother agreed this was the best option and took this route, while it may have sped up the process, it let her die peacefully and with dignity instead of a long period of excruciating pain.
It troubled me for some time afterwards that I did not feel pain about her passing, I knew she was better off and that I'd done the right thing, but It bothered me that I was not as sorrowful as the people around me. I knew the pain she had been in and the struggle she had gone through, and was happy that she was in a better place (whatever that place may be)
Since then I have come to terms with all of that, and feel good about what I did... I helped ease one person's passage, and help the rest of my family by not letting them see the agony that she would of gone through had we not made the decision that we had made.
This is where I stopped before, but would like to say a few things, We as people tend to mourn those close to us, and be de-sensitized to the deaths of those we do not know, we can look at the obituaries and feel sad if they were around our own age as it makes us look at our own mortality, but we do not always realize that each of those people were a life to be cherished, memories that people will pass on, and lives that were touched. And as much as that life is to be appreciated, So should death... as it gives our humanity its drive, its encouragement, its mortality and worth, Death is not the end, only a phase in the long path that this universe journeys, our remains will become one with the universe someday, and eventually parts of us become parts of new life, and the cycle continues on and on