May he rest in peace.

One of the things I do when I have nothing to do is type names of people I used to know — old classmates, friends, co-workers, etc. — into Google and see what comes up.  Most of the time it’s just those “people finders” that ask for an additional fee and promise to give you the person’s address, age, criminal background, work history, etc.    I think most people have probably spent time browsing the names of people they know only slightly or that they lost touch with long ago.  But sometimes you get lucky and find some actual information about the person, sometimes even photos of the person.

Today I was thinking about the roommate I had in the hospital where my son was born and where we spent the next 5 days, recovering from C-sections.   The woman was about a year older than me, and had an older daughter (my son was my first).   I remember I was in the room first, and at some unspecified time during my morphine-haze first evening,  my new roommate was rolled in, followed by a glass basinette on wheels containing her newborn son, Sam.  There we were to spend the next few days recovering, getting to know our newborn sons,  and waiting for “bowel sounds” — after major surgery, this is a major milestone.  It means you’re ready to start eating real food again, so this is the only time in your life you will actually be praying to fart — because nothing in the world tastes better than your first bland dinner of stewed apple slices, white rice, and chicken nuggets after three days of liquids only.

We visited only once after we both went home.  When the boys were about a year old,  we got together at my friend’s house.   At that age, they played very little with each other but got into everything else.  I remember being in a near-panic because her son was already using full words, while mine still just babbled nonsense or even worse, was silent.   I decided after that visit to take my son to speech therapy.  It wasn’t necessary.  He started talking just shy of three years old — quite late according to the child development experts, but when he finally spoke, he did in complete sentences, completely skipping over the one-and two-word stage.   The pediatrician told me some kids are perfectionists and play “practice tapes” in their heads, but won’t speak until they are sure what they want to say is perfect.   That’s probably true, since my son is a perfectionist and even has an OCD diagnosis.   I also remember a time or two when I heard him alone in his room as a young toddler, apparently practicing his words.  If he knew you were listening, he’d go silent, so I had to be very quiet and not let him know I knew.   Needless to say, when he finally started talking, there was no shutting him up.

I typed the woman’s name and her son’s name in Google.  Nothing came up on my friend at all except a few people-search websites which demand a fee before they give you anything,  but there was definitely something about her son, Sam.  There was a very flattering picture of Sam at about age 19 taken at university, where he was an honors student.   He had a great smile. He looked like a nice person, the sort of guy I’d want my daughter to marry.

And there was an obituary.   I hoped it was for another person with the same name, but  I read over the entire entry, and it was definitely him.   All the names, his age, and the location of the funeral home fit.

Funeral home.  Funeral.  A funeral for a boy born the same day and year as my son, who recovered in the same room as my son.  I wanted to cry.  I think I did shed a few tears.  For a child I had known for just a few days in October of 1991.

The obituary said Sam had died of cancer, which he’d been battling for 15 months.  Oh, God, no.  No, no.   I looked at the smiling college photo of him and tried to imagine him lying in a hospital bed with advanced cancer.   I couldn’t.

I wish I could reach out to his parents now, but it would be way too awkward.  I’m not even sure they would remember me.  Not even sure it would be appropriate.   Besides, what do you say to someone whose adult child has died?   Losing one of my adult children is my biggest fear.   I seriously don’t know how anyone can ever get over something like that or ever live a normal life again or think about normal things again.   But somehow when it happens to other people, they do get through it.

I know I would have no idea what to say, or I’d blurt out something really awkward and cringeworthy like, “I would kill myself if my son died so young,” or, “Wow, that could have been MY son.”  No, no.  I won’t say a word to them or try to contact them.   It happened almost a year ago now anyway.  But it’s so spooky and sad.   May he rest in peace.


25 thoughts on “May he rest in peace.

  1. That is so sad. Heartbreaking.

    I am like you, I don’t know how it’s possible for a parent to survive the death of a child. When my youngest child’s full term, perfectly formed baby boy died at birth, with the cord around his neck, I cried the hardest that I have ever cried in my life. He would be twelve now. It still hurts.

    My husband and I are in the process of moving to a new house. The house is new to us, I mean, it’s about 35 years old. A few days after we closed on this place, the woman who lived directly across the street died of a sudden stroke. I had not met her yet, but I have been told that she was a lot like me and that we probably would have become the best of friends. She was about a year and a half younger than me.

    A couple of days after she died, I was here in our new home, moving things in, when suddenly I had the strong feeling that I was not alone. The thought came to me then that the woman who had died used to live here in this house, and she had come back to visit it one last time. I said to myself, “This is silly, she did not live here, she lived across the street.” Then I prayed aloud in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to cast out any spirits that might be trying to haunt this house. Instantly, my eerie haunted feeling left.

    I later learned, from another neighbor, that the deceased woman had in fact lived here in our house years ago, before she married, moved out of state, got a divorce, and then moved back and bought the house across the street!

    Life and death — it is a mystery!

    There is a story I read in a book once about a man who had a near death experience. It was a true story, he was clinically dead for awhile. During the NDE, he was talking with God. He prayed, “Please don’t let me die, I am too young to die!” The Lord answered, ” No one is too young to die.” But even so, the young man was sent back to finish his life! (I think it was a man. It’s been so long since I read that book, I am not entirely sure.)

    “No one is too young to die” – – I really don’t like that answer!!

    I once googled the name of an ex and discovered that he had died. That was a shock, too.

    One of my favorite bloggers, who used to blog several times a week, and was prompt on approving and replying to comments, hasn’t done a thing on her blog since January. My email to her hasn’t been answered. I am afraid she is gone.

    Sad. Heartbreaking. But this is the reality, the price we pay for being alive.

    Lately I have not been feeling well. It’s like I haven’t fully recovered yet from the flu I had at almost two months ago. So death has been on my mind..

    Liked by 2 people

    • I also read about people coming back. Going through a bright light ( i once dreamed about that light talking to my dad) , and seeing the prople that were closest to them and in every simgle of the stories I have read, there is somebody telling them its not your time yet. Go back! Yes life and death are so nearby.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I believe that your experience was real. Awesome, wasn’t it?!

        My comment was so long, I didn’t want to add more, but I have had 2 near death experiences, as well. The first happened when I was 15, caused by an anaphylactic reaction to a drug. I felt my soul floating up to the ceiling, as my body collapsed on the floor. This happened in a hospital. Two nurses saw me and rushed over to where I had fallen. I was floating above their heads, looking down at the two of them kneeling beside me. I heard one nurse say “I can’t find a pulse.” I heard the other nurse say “Her lips are blue.” Then — ZAP — I was back inside my body.

        My second near-death happened when I was 39 years old. Unknown to me, I had developed a heart arrhythmia. One night I woke up and found myself out of my body, in a passageway between this life and the next. Behind me, I could see my lifeless body lying on the bed. Ahead of me I could see, far off in the distance, a group of people waiting for me in a bright glowing light. I heard beautiful music. The peace, joy, and love that I felt all around and within me was indescribable, like nothing I have ever experienced on earth.

        I was given a choice, to go to heaven then or return to earth to take care of unfinished business. I chose to return. But it wasn’t an easy choice!

        I went to see a doctor later that day, who ran some tests and found that I had a potentially deadly heart arrhythmia. I was prescribed a beta blocker. But today, nearly 36 years later, my heart is fine and I no longer take any heart meds.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to crossing over, but I am curious! Guess we’ll all find out some day. Personally, death terrifies me. I try not to think about what it’s like.


    • What a story about your neighbor! That would make a terrific blog post.
      I often wonder about my blogger friends who suddenly disappear too. If you don’t know them except online, it’s easy to think they might be dead. They could just be doing other things, have lost interest, or can’t get an internet connection or what have you, but of course there’s always the possibility they died too, you just have no way to know for sure.
      I sure hope you didn’t think I was dead when you wrote your other comment asking me to give some kind of signal I was still around. I didn’t mean to panic you! I was just distracted with other stuff, but no, I’m still on planet earth!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG so sad. Me like you I cant imagine loosing one of my kids. I pray I go first even if its early. Very good post. Its always so nice to read you. I check my mails in the morning in hope that you have published something. Makes a difference for the day.
    Have a nice easter!!!!
    PD Maybe you can write an easter story thee days😝😝

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the kind comments, and you have a happy Easter too. Well, I don’t know if I have an easter story to tell, but I did just post a deviled egg recipe!


  3. Just a thought I’d like to share…
    While I’ve never lost a child of my own, both of my younger brothers (both in their 30’s) passed away within 7 months of each other about 6 years ago. I know that everyone grieves differently, but the odds are pretty good that it would mean the world to your friend to hear from you. Most likely, one year feels more like one minute to her. Nobody EVER knows what the right thing is to say. If it helps, my personal experience is that even after 6 years, it feels amazing to hear from an old friend or acquaintance who wants to offer condolences or find out how I’m doing. Out of fear that they’ll say the wrong thing or bring up this topic and upset the person grieving, so many people say nothing at all. This can lead to the bereaved feeling even more alone and isolated. Just a note acknowledging that you heard about what happened, are sorry for her pain, letting her know that you wanted to check on her, that you kiss her, wish you could be there to give her a big hug right now, etc… (whatever feels right,) I bet would go a very long way.
    Most of “us” (the bereaved) eventually come to realize that people are “afraid” of us with the best of intentions, but reaching out could really help (especially because of the way your friendship began.) This may sound strange, but I like when people bring up my brothers (even if they ask “how did they die?” Seriously.) It validates that the person they lost was here, that they mattered and have not been forgotten. I know that my parents feel the same way. (I could write a novel.) I completely understand that EVERY situation is different. Obviusly, I can’t 100% predict her reaction, but I bet she’d love to hear from you. No pressure. I totally get it and understand if it just doesn’t feel right, but wanted to offer an insider’s perspective. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • My apologies! I have a new phone with a bizarre and very frustrating spell checking issue. (Ugh.) Where it says, “that you kiss her,” it was supposed to be “that you wish you were there to give her a big hug.” I’m so sorry about that. 😞

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry for the long delay before I approved this comment.

      I didn’t know the woman that well — we only met that one time after being roomies in the maternity ward — but you’re right, she would probably like to hear from me (if she remembers me!) I’m very shy, so I would need to work up the courage to look her up and give her a call or whatever (I can’t find her on FB).
      Cancer is certainly a terrible way to lose a child (or anyone!), but on the plus side (if there is one), the death probably didn’t come as a surprise. He was sick for 15 months, so I’m sure the family was able to prepare themselves. Of course, a diagnosis like that in someone so young is a shock in itself.
      I am sorry to hear about your two little brothers. 😦 My (belated) condolences.


  4. I have done the Googling of names, especially when I finally got on social media. The first people I looked for were a couple with whom I’d been out of touch for many years, High School classmates. I found their obituaries. They had died only in the previous two years, a little more than a year apart. It almost made me afraid to look for anyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

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