When one of your parents dies, the other has to move forward in life alone.
When both of your parents die, you have to move forward in life alone.
And all of this is especially complicated and a logistic nightmare when it happens in a city other than the one where you live.
Surely you will have already had to miss work and leave the family at home; your spouse with the weight of the world while you went to visit your ailing parent. You sat by the bed wishing you could do so much yet knowing that you could do so little. You tried to comfort your other parent telling her that things would be okay and she would survive the impending loss all the while knowing that no one survives it wholly.
You need to share your feelings with family and friends. You need a boss or business partner who shows compassion and understanding. You need to stay strong and healthy so you can be the caregiver.
And you need to rely on the trusted relationship and expertise and professionalism of your Travel Agent who arranges for the flights, rental car and hotel room at a moment’s notice and who listens when you speak.
They aren’t just listening to your preference of a full size car or a room on a higher floor, they are listening and reacting to your pain and sadness and need to balance out your life with a timely schedule and all of the logistics that you can’t manage.
Then the call comes. He is gone. He was there when you sat at his bedside. He was there when you flew home and went to sleep that night but once the phone call comes the next morning, he has passed from this world. You ask the usual questions “When? Did he say anything? Was someone there? What now?”
Then you leave all the plates flying in the air hoping someone will catch them from falling while you return to your hometown yet another time to say your final goodbye.
You are heartbroken but most especially for your living parent who now faces life without her partner of a lifetime. You feel terrible guilt in leaving her back in your hometown but what else can you do? You offered to move her to closer to you but she didn't want to be in a strange city; she wanted to stay in the same house where you were raised where she lived with her soul partner.
But you insist that she comes to visit as often as possible and she does but as little as possible. And when she is finally there sitting in front of you, she is not there at all. She has disconnected herself from everyday life. It's as if a plug has been pulled and all the water has gone down the drain. There is an emptiness in her eyes – just a dull gaze staring past you – past everything.
You hold her small hand and tell her you love her and you really would like to have her nearby so you can care for her and see her more often. It’s as if she thinks that if she stays at home and waits, he may walk through the door. But he never does and the next call you get is sudden, unexpected but the sure fire result of a broken heart; a broken wing of a bird that can no longer fly without their loved one.
Again you return to your hometown and brace yourself for the finality of being alone without the only parents you have ever known. The parents, who held you, cared for you, kissed your forehead and loved you unconditionally; their entire lives were for the betterment of yours.
So much pain and hurt. Beyond that, so many matters to take care of that shouldn’t really matter at all.
There’s the house full with all sorts of belongings that we all collect and put somewhere, anywhere and everywhere, their clothes that still smell like them and that scarf or hat or blazer that you hold onto because it brings back a thousand memories.
There are the images on the wall and in the picture frames on the fireplace mantle. They seem to display your entire childhood and even your smallest of accomplishments are a celebration.
We all deal with loss. Our parents age and become less autonomous and as their journeys come to an end, a page turns and our next chapter begins.
And somewhere in the distance, the winds roar, the thunder claps and another rain drop will surely fall.
Voyages Groupe Ideal – Ideal Travel
We are Travel Agents. We are Human. We feel, listen and take care of you in good times and bad.
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