It's a matter of life and death

matter of life and deathLiterally. In this case, death. And life. It all seems to blend together doesn’t it?
Today we celebrate the life of my wife’s mother, my mother-in-law, Rita Londoner who passed early this morning. She was born 8-17-1930 and passed 10-19-2011. And what a life she had.
The last 48 hours has been a beautiful process of hospice, cancelled business trips, family, Chinese food, pictures, oxygen tanks, morphine and tears. The mortality of it all, the Human-ness of it all has been humbling. Time seems to stop, yet it seems like moving at warp speed at the same time. Dealing with the kids and cousins ranging from 2-14, calling the airlines to cancel flights, bringing the 14yo granddaughter home from Florida, keeping my brother in law, my wife’s brother, in the loop as he is en route from LA, following up with the organ donor bank, and, running my life, my business, and my two sons, 2 and 7, and keeping it all together together. Wow, what an experience.

Hospice has been amazing, like angels. Funeral Parlor amazing, came in at 2am – swept in like superheros of the night, an hour later she was gone.
But last night was pretty special. The morphine let her relax enough to pass effortlessly. The grand-kids were there, laughing and crying. The baby leaned in and said, “bye-bye grandma, I wuv u”. The room was flickering with candles emanating a sweet vanilla fragrance, Andrea Bocelli on the stereo.
Today, in the aftermath of death, is life. Life goes on as they say, but not today. Today, and yesterday, seem like an unreal type of movie. A surreal place of mindlessly doing errands, moving boxes, digging for phone numbers, and planning the funeral, the ceremony and coordinating all the moving parts. But yes, life does go on, and the spirit of her soul, and the essence of her death, we shared, with a friend, who is pregnant. The Circle of Life. Indeed. The metaphor for me was hiking many years ago in the rain forest in the Pacific North West and seeing the bright, young healthy vibrant green algae and moss growing out of the dead trees. Fascinating how life and death are actually all one in the same.
So in death comes love, and photos, and memories. Lots of stories and friends and food and pictures. Love, sadness, happiness. A blur. It’s confusing and sacred. Dark and bright. Past and future. Death and life. In the finality of it all, the next couple weeks and months and years will be filled with love, confusion and other emotions for me and my family, but mostly for my wife.
So, that’s that. Next two days will be about funeral, love, memories and hopefully a celebration of life.
We love you and miss you Rita Londoner. Thank you for the gift of your daughter and letting me marry into your family. I am forever grateful.
And, my message to you?
Have a good life. As if your life depends on it.
Drew

Related

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Comments

  • Seth Lefferts October 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Drew, this is very profound, and very moving. I am honored to be among your friends. Please give my love to Corey. We hope to see you very soon.

    Reply
  • Ed Chasan October 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Drew and Corey my heart goes out to you and your family, if there is anything I can do, don’t hesistate to ask. I know you will be brave with all the support of family and friends.

    Reply
  • Beth Miller October 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Dear Cory and Drew,
    May love and peace surround you and yours.
    I will cherish you and be here for you forever!
    What ever you need I am here.
    With love and gratitude,
    Beth

    Reply
  • Ricky October 20, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Drew, my thoughts are with you and the family. I loved and appreciated your message of gratitude.

    Reply
  • Craig October 20, 2011 at 12:29 am

    What an incredible post, Drew. All our prayers are with your families. What a lucky person Rita is to have had you all in her life.

    Reply
  • Dave October 20, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Great post, Drew! Corey’s mom must have been an amazing person! Be strong for you and your family. Healing takes time. Our thoughts and hearts go out to you all.

    Reply
  • Adina Sabghir October 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Drew, Thank you for sharing the humanity of it all. I lost both my parents year and years ago and am reminded of the sense of time stopping and nothing that matters beyond the people we love. This morning before seeing your post I reached out to reassure a family member who is in a trauma that all that matters is that we are here for each other. Life in it’s big and small ways is an astonishing infinite opportunity of love when we are present to what really matters. Thank you for sharing. My heart is with you, your wife, and family.
    Many blessings to you all. Adina

    Reply
  • Barbilee Hemmings October 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Namaste.

    Reply
  • Darry Roseman October 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Drew, Beth & I send to you and your entire family – our condolences. We’ll keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • Isa October 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Great publish, Drew! Corey’s mother must have been an amazing person, one must know that! Be robust for you and your loved ones. Healing takes time. Our thoughts and minds go out to you all.

    Reply
  • Michelle Sears October 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Drew thank you for sharing this story. I don’t know you and your family personally but I felt strong emotions while reading this post. You have helped me become more aware of my life by telling me this vivid story of death. Thank you and my prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  • Linda November 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

    This is a moving story and a great tribute to your mother in law Drew. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts about death and life. It is amazing how much I can relate to them. My sister is finally having a baby. We are all so happy and excited.

    Reply
  • justin mercado November 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Drew condolence to your family. I know it hurts but time comes you’ll be good, just always remember the happy memories that you’ve been together. After reading this post I realize that love is unconditional because you showed it. Rita is the lucky person cause theirs a lot of people love her. It inspires me everyday. Thank you so much Drew.

    Reply