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Patty’s Ponderings: A Matter of Life and Death

statue of an Angel in a graveyard

You’ve probably seen the story of the Belgian twin brothers who were euthanized by their doctor this week. The story has been at the top of all the internet search engine lists for over two days now.

If you have actually been living your life minus the internet, radio and TV; I’ll briefly explain. Two 45-year old Belgian twin brothers, who are already deaf, recently learned they are also going blind. The news that they would no longer be able to see each other was unbearable to them and they were granted their wish for euthanasia by their doctor.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this. I understand their closeness, their torment and their decision. Do I agree with it? I’m not certain myself.

I’ve never understood the process of how life goes on after someone you love, dies. Common sense would dictate that when this loss would occur, you yourself would cease to exist. I mean, I come from an Italian-Irish family that gets attached to furniture. So losing a parent, a sibling, or even a best friend, seemed unfathomable; until 1993, when my dad died.

It had been a long illness, was not really a surprise and even though my dad and I had an extremely difficult relationship, it was hard. But life went on.

In the winter of 2003, my beloved mom, who had lived most of her life in high gear and at full volume, died suddenly after a routine surgery. I adored this person that I am a mirror-image of. I talked to her almost every day of my life, about everything and nothing. I couldn’t believe she was gone and still can’t. A sense of humor and laughter until we cried, over and over again- -saved me, and my sisters.

My older sister, Carmela lost her best friend since 4th grade to brain cancer about three years ago. My best friend of 32 years, Georgie, lost her beloved older brother not very long ago. As time goes on, the list will grow and the pain will deepen. It’s not true for a lot of us, that time will ease the hurt.

The anguish of separation from loved ones affects us all divergently, but for most of us we resolutely continue on; quietly carrying our losses with us. We wait in hope to join our loved ones again somewhere much less complicated.

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