Friday, August 20, 2004

Why do they linger on the death?

Be forewarned that this entry is not going to be positive. This is something I've never discussed my feelings about with anyone but felt I needed to get out.

About 7 years ago, my hubby's cousin D got married to J. A year later D got pregnant and had J Jr. Throughout her life D was a bit overweight. Her pregnancy with J Jr was riddled with issues. Her health was not the best after she gave birth to J Jr. But nonetheless D became pregnant again a couple years later. Her health continued to be an issue and she ended up having to take steriods while pregnant. She gave birth to a healthy second son, P. Her health, unfortunately, was never the same after that second pregnancy. There were a couple times that her husband, J, had to call 911 in the middle of the night because she had seizures. The doctors did tests on her but couldn't pinpoint what exactly was wrong with her. Then one night I received a phone call from my MIL. She said "We've lost D." My MIL was crying up a storm. Apparently she had another seizure and had passed in the night. She never regained consciousness. She left behind her husband and two young sons.

An autopsy was performed and it turns out she had a particular disorder that was never diagnosed. Her parents gathered as much information as they could about the disorder and wanted to sue the doctors who failed to make the correct diagnosis on their daughter. I don't know exactly what happened with this avenue of the story. But suffice it to say, her parents have had a difficult time with her death. They still are not over it. They can't seem to let go.

Even 4 years later they seem bitter. They are helping raise their two grandsons too. I hear that the youngest, P, is pretty frail too. I hope their bitterness doesn't seep into their every interaction with their grandsons. Every year they have a gathering on the date of her death. It's not like they got together to reminisce about her life either. It's more along the lines of rehashing what went wrong. Why? Why would they do that to themselves? Wouldn't you want to celebrate her life? The fact that she found the love of her life and gave birth to two beautiful boys?

I know my Mom would show respect for loved ones (my Uncle and my father's parents) that had passed on special occassions by setting a place setting for them at an extra table. It wasn't a way to remember their deaths. It was an invitation for their spirits to celebrate with us -- that we hadn't forgotten them.

I recall when D got pregnant that second time. Her parents didn't agree with her decision to get pregnant that second time around. They knew she wasn't in the best of health. But I remember that my SIL had gone to visit D while she was pregnant and D told her that she wanted J Jr to have a sibling. When I heard that I knew that she'd made that decision just as my own sister has in her life. My sister had issues getting pregnant after she had her son. She had about 3 miscarriages before she was able to give birth to a daughter. She told me that she didn't want her son to be alone in his life. So when I heard what D had said about J Jr, then I knew there was nothing I could say about her decision. Why would I? It was her life and her body. I'm sure in her mind she was doing what was best for her family.

When my SIL was conveying information about her visit with D, I do recall one comment that she made to my MIL. She said that "D is SO big!" My MIL and she then discussed how D was always such a "fat" girl. Then they went on to discuss how D's parents were upset that she was pregnant, etc. I couldn't believe that my SIL had said such a thing. For one thing, D was always a big girl. Second of all, my SIL has never been pregnant (from what I know). I couldn't believe they were discussing her weight. Granted, both my SIL and my MIL are both under a size 10, but to mock another woman's weight -- a pregnant woman's weight? How ridiculous is that?

Anyway, this was the last time that I heard my SIL and my MIL talk about D. Time went on and D eventually gave birth to P. More time passed until I got that call in the middle of the night. "We lost D!" You know what hit my mind when she said that? I recall the last time I'd heard her talk about D. "D is so fat!" There was never a positive word about her pregnancy, her sons, or her life. It's weird! The last time word I'd heard about D was negative. Then you call me and cry about her death?

How do you treat someone with respect when you know they are two-faced? When they only discuss the negatives in life? Why do these people linger on what's bad in the world? I guess my hubby has it straight "some people are happiest when they're miserable."

What do you think?

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