In the 1939 Movie, “On Borrowed Time” a young boy named Pud is orphaned and left in the care of his aged grandparents. The grandmother passes hospice care provider away, leaving only the grandfather to care for the boy. The grandfather must fight the state’s attempt to take away the boy and put him with unfamiliar and unsympathetic family. When Death comes to take the grandfather, he, the grandfather, traps Death in a magical tree. One of the most fascinating parts of the story comes when, as a result of death being trapped in a tree, no one can die. This may sound on the surface like a good thing, except that “suffering” would go on, unending with no relief in sight. As is pointed out to the old man, death is the only relief for some conditions.
In the real world, where death can’t be stopped by a magical tree, we must deal with the inevitable sting of loss. When faced with the sober finality of death, most people would rather prolong it as long as possible. Sometimes, even when a person is suffering beyond belief, we want to hold them here to suit our own needs. I myself have been through the heart-rending pain of watching a love one slip away. My beloved father had to make his final journey and we, his family had to deal with the reality that we were going to lose him, and that no magical solution would be found.
We had hospice care for him, and they were just wonderful with how they dealt with him and with us in his last months, weeks and days. It was still a very hard thing to go through, but we all had a chance to show our love for him and to say our goodbyes, in our own ways. This is not always the case. Sometimes people are far away and can’t be there in the final days of their loved ones life. Sometimes, there is guilt and pain when we can’t be there for that last goodbye. We all deal with this differently, and we all must find a way to make peace with these feelings. There are grief counselors and groups that you can join to help you to cope and deal with the loss of a loved one. We should. If we need to, seek out these professionals when we are in need of these services so that we may deal more effectively with our feelings. There is no shame in getting help to work through grief.