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The Spectrum of Life and Death

We are close (so very very close) to the arrive of the baby boy. (Check out the countdown I put up on the right side of the blog!) We've done so much preparing for the arrival of the new life lately, as well as preparing the toddler for his arrival. This birth and the amazing development of my little girl have been consuming my thoughts (and Londo's thoughts) pretty completely for a while now. In addition, my sister (who is currently in a far away country on business for a couple weeks) is also pregnant, so we are constantly talking about ultrasounds, movements, Braxton-Hicks contractions, infant clothes, setting up nurserys, etc.

Babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. These little beings in the beginning stages of life. The alpha stage...

In the spectrum of life and death, there is the other end. The omega stage.

Unfortunately, we have lately had to deal with that stage as well. It's much harder to talk about and blog about. It's hard to dwell on, even when that is exactly what we do. It's hard to prepare for, even when the people we love are very old and dwindling slowly but surely.

But it's especially hard when it comes suddenly--even harder when it comes suddenly to a friend who is our age (even a couple years younger).

One of Londo's good friends has died. He leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old son, as well as his family, his in-laws, his friends and his coworkers. This was a friend of Londo's and mine since our college days. Most recently, we met up with this friend and his wife who live in New Jersey when we went to Atlantic City. Prior to that, we would see this friend maybe a couple times a year. But we all know in this day and age there are so many other ways to keep in touch. And Londo and his buddies all do keep in touch pretty well since college.

Our friend's death comes as such a shock to everyone. Londo was just talking with him about fantasy football a couple days prior to his death. We just hung out with them a couple months ago. We had hoped to see them a few months after the baby was born. The baby I was pregnant with when we saw them last. I have pictures of the friend's wife playing with the Pumpkin while the friend and Londo were doing their groomsmen things for another friend, and pictures of them doing their groomsmen things. Pictures I was just looking at a week ago. He was just here, seemingly fine. And now he's gone.

IMO, this is a harder death to reconcile than the ones we foresee coming in our families. We moved my grandmother to a nursing home two weekends ago after a hospital stay to get her stable. She was back in the hospital for a blood transfusion three days ago, but she is now back in the nursing home and seems to be doing better. Physically. But her mental stability is somewhere between senility and dementia. We hope that she at least is able to get physically strong enough to come back home to my mom's house. We all see the end is coming, has been coming. And while it's not easy, we are preparing ourselves for it. At 94 years old, she has had a long and full life.

Londo's grandparents are also in serious decline, which has recently taken a sharp turn downwards. It is very obvious to all that if one passes, the other will quickly follow. They are that couple who could not live without each other. Because they (and the rest of Londo's family) live 5 or so hours from us, we have not been able to visit since Easter. We hope that we will get the chance a few months after the boy is born.

But we also hope that the baby boy holds off on his arrival until at least Saturday. After much thought, debate, reassurance and a promise that I won't go into labor yet, Londo has agreed to go up to New Jersey for his friend's funeral. We are a family who strongly believes in the importance of funerals. In fact, when my grandmother was in the hospital and we weren't sure of how things would turn out, we discussed in great detail how I would possible go to her funeral, which will be held in Massachusettes (her home) when she does pass. We have discussed how soon after the boy's birth he and I would be able to travel either to Londo's grandparents' town and to Massachusettes. We would do all in our power to go, because that is important to us.

So naturally, Londo and I wanted him to be able to go to the funeral of his good friend. There is simply no way I can make it--everyone knows that. But as of last night, Londo decided that he would go. He will take the chance and go. It's only a 3.5 to 4 hour drive, so I'm fully confident that if I do happen to go into labor during the 30 hours he is gone, he will be able to get back and to the hospital in time. I won't eat any spicy food until he's back. I will take it easy. I'm having the nanny stay an extra hour to give me time to come home from work without eating into more of my leave time. I am having my mom come and stay the evening with me tonight to help me take care of the Pumpkin.

He is leaving soon with another friend for New Jersey. Our friend had many other friends in our area, so if Londo needs to come back early, there is surely a way. He is playing this by ear, which is not how he normally does things. Which just shows how important this is to him, to us. I wish that I could be there. I wish I could extend my sympathies, my hugs, my love in person to his wife and son. But at least Londo can.


Burgh Baby said…
I am so sorry for your loss. I agree, sudden losses hurt in a way that others don't. It always hurts, but that pain is deeper when it's accompanied by shock.
I am so so very sorry for your loss...

I agree, wholeheartedly, that in many ways a sudden and unexpected death is more difficult to deal with than one that is expected and anticipated. I hope that your family and your friend's family are able to find some solace in the happier memories you shared with him.

It seems so odd to say so now, but since I'm new here and also pregnant, I also wanted to congratulate you on your baby. Just a week left; how exciting =)
Cloud said…
Oh, I'm so sorry, for you and Londo and for your friends.

I know it is hard for you not to be able to be there now for your friend, but you can be there for her later, when a lot of the people who were there now have moved on. And I think that is just as important, maybe even more important.
AmyinMotown said…
I'm so sorry abut your friend. It's absolutely shocking when someone your own age dies.And having been through back-to-back funerals last fall, let me tell you, it does matter that Londo went and will mean the world to his wife, knowing especially that you are about to pop at any moment.

(and you DO know you are not actually in control of when you go into labor, right? :-) That being said, I'll say "stay in there baby" prayers for you until Londo is safely home!
Katie said…
I'm so very sorry. *hugs*
Don Mills Diva said…
I am just catching up and I am so so sorry for your loss.

We have lost three friends/ colleagues in untimely deaths the last two years and it has really informed our decision to make changes that allow us to live our lives more fully today.

Anonymous said…
I am so sorry for your loss.


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