I have noticed the “ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM” on many occasions and to be honest, sometimes I have been afraid of that elephant. You know, that thought in your mind that tells you there is something no one wants to mention.
When illness brings with it the inevitability of death, there is a cloud that looms in the understanding of it all. When grandma was diagnosed with cancer the cloud appeared and the typical reactions from family and friends began to occur.
I know ? you know and we talk openly; I knew what was going on and so did grandma. We talked about what it was like, as she described, “to feel the essence of her energy leave her body”, as she became weaker and over time unable to take care of herself. I was already a “Nana” myself at this time.
I know ? you know and we don’t talk about it; I remember a close, long time, friend of grandma’s who knew what was going on, but could not bring herself to talk about the cancer. The friend and grandma both knew and felt the elephant in the room, but no one spoke about it. Soon the friend stopped visiting or calling.
This person said she could not handle seeing her friend this way anymore. She still called grandma every day. Gradually, grandma was too sick to talk for very long or not at all. It was sad to see the reliability of this friendship crumble.
Is there a right or wrong here? How much does fear get in the way? In all reality those who play an integral part in someone else’s life may potentially play a role in their death. Take a moment to consider your own experiences with death and what role you played or not.
For myself, I feel I was given a gift. The “gift” was time, love and grandma sharing her experiences, thoughts and beliefs about her pending death. I remember her saying over the past many years, that no matter who you are, what you do or where you live you are not getting out of hear alive.
The most important gift she felt she received before dying was having family including grandchildren and great grandchildren (school aged) come and see her.
How will you remember or be remembered when death is a cloud in your life? Will death be “THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM” in your story?