Determined to write a funny blog when we could all use a chuckle, my daughter burst in with the news about Debbie Reynolds. “Mom, turn on the TV!”
For the second day in a row, we grouped around the TV, absorbing the passing of another Hollywood icon, this time the mother of the princess that died only the day before. News sources said Ms. Reynolds was having a tough time with her daughter’s death. No one expects to outlive his or her child.
The pain and grief are unspeakable.
Funny musings vanished as I flashed back to my mother’s side as she lay dying in a Hospice room in Scottsdale, Arizona. How I held her hand, how I talked her over to the other side—how I had the privilege of helping her die. Mother before daughter. The natural order of things. That doesn’t make it any easier. Death is separation, after all.
The tie that binds a parent and a child is unlike any other. It is a unique, strong, over-reaching bond that words can’t explain. I thought of the grief of Ms. Reynolds having outlived her daughter, Carrie. It was bad enough she died so young. They’d had a stormy relationship in the past, but eventually worked their way back to each other. Mothers and daughters do that; I did it with my mother.
When the natural order is disordered, the shock and pain are beyond comprehension. I held my 84-year-old mother as she shook, uttering a bone-chilling wail of grief at my sister’s burial years ago. I’d never heard a human make such a sound and I never hope to again. The sound of pain, of a mother outliving her daughter.
My heart goes out to parents who have lost children, no matter what age. As painful as it is, life goes on. Not so, for Debbie Reynolds.
The Force was strong with this one.
© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2016, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. LIPS