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A Grief Observed… December 12, 2006

Posted by G in from the heart.

Last Tuesday we received the news that John Burke Sr had taken another “turn for the worst”…  John has been living with brain cancer for about the last year and a half…  which occured during their son, John Jr’s bout with a brain tumor… John Jr passed on a year ago December 1st.  I felt the need to visit them at the hospice house often during this past week.  We were told that John wasn’t going to make it, but he kept on going… some times he would be able to speak… just barely… sometimes he would just lie there and it would seem that every breath was the last.  I would sit there and not realize that I was holding my breath until he would breath again. 

All I could do was pray that it would be over… that the family would be able to take the next steps to moving on.  I kept thinking that it would be nice… not the best term… not at all… easier doesn’t quite work either, but it will have to do…  all I could think was that it would be easier for Rose, Jess, Dan & Sarah to have the deaths occur the same time of the year… this way the rememberance of the anniversaries would not be at different times.  Of course Christmas will always be a rough time for them…  no matter what time of year they passed on… but I just prayed his suffering (and theirs) could just be over.  What a conflict… praying for someone to pass away… I know it is what we are to long and hope for, but it still seems like a conflict of interest… praying for God to take away a 17 year old girls daddy… a young woman’s father… an air force man’s role model and the love of a lady’s life… it just does not seem right.  The strength that I have seen in this family is overwhelming… I have seen them pray the same prayer and when it was finally answered on Saturday evening… the grief was as to be expected… with disbelief and many, many tears. 

The week has brought back many memories for me.  I always thought that it would’ve been nice to see and speak to my mother one last time before she passed away, but I now realize how thankful I am that I remember her as she really was. 


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