Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Farewell, and the Cliff

My last post was for my dad who succumbed to the wear and tear of life last Tuesday, December 4, 2012.  Obviously, the last ten days have been an emotional roller coaster.  While it was nice to see all the people who took the time to travel to see my dad one last time, it was difficult to watch him die in the hospice.  Let it suffice to say that I cried more in this last week and a half than in the previous year.  I cried in front of my family and friends, something that I am not accustomed to do, perhaps to my detriment.  And, I witnessed my brothers and sisters crying, again, not an everyday event.  As I said to more than one person, we have been a fortunate family in that we haven't experienced much death.  In those times when I could separate myself from my own grief, it was interesting to see the range of emotions as expressed by my family as the process of my dad's dying unfolded.  Denial, anger, acceptance, grief; it was all there in stark reality.

Interestingly, I was not privy to any tears from my mother, not even at the service.  In discussing this among my siblings, we hypothesized that perhaps she was hiding her grief from her family, or that she was a joyful event crier only, or that her age/generation understood death better than ours.  No conclusion was derived.

Today, in the car, it came to me that perhaps my level of grief and tears is related to my sadness of all the things I would not be able to share with my dad in the coming years such as the marriage of my children and my first grandchild.  We have a yearly family tradition of vacationing in the Poconos, which will now go unshared with my dad.  Talking sports, playing cards, holiday meals, even just watching TV will no longer include his presence, notwithstanding the huge picture my brother had made which sits in my mom's living room.  And, if I assume that my tears are the result of those missed future times together, perhaps it is also true that the sadness is a result of the past times unshared.  All the things that went unsaid.  All the times I took his life and love for granted.  Which brings me back to my mom.  No tears in her case may simply mean that she never took him for granted, that she shared everything with her husband of 56 years, that her love is stronger than the mere separation of death, and that she knows that where he has gone, she will follow to share eternity.

And then there is the upcoming fiscal cliff.  Of course, it all seems so trivial in the face of the loss of a loved one, but the reality is, how we choose to handle our national finances is important.  I have commented on numerous occasions that I have full faith in that our elected officials will avoid the cliff.  They will (gasp) compromise yet do so in a way that will allow themselves to save face with their respective constituents.  Revenue will be increased, spending will be decreased.  No one will be happy, yet the spin master's for each side will claim victory on the talk shows and air waves.  Oddly, the cliff will be avoided yet the problem will stay with us for quite some time. 

Perhaps it is a stretch, but one might say that paying a bit more in taxes, receiving a bit less in entitlements, is somewhat like the death of a family member.  We know it is inevitable, we know it will cause tears and sadness, but we also know the departed is going to a better place, so we accept that pain and sadness.  It is time for us all to accept a bit of pain for our great country so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same benefits and freedoms that, like one's father or mother, we so often take for granted.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Joe. I just started reading some of your thoughts(blogs)
    You are a talented writer and as far as DAD is concerned, his passing is a tragic yet inevitable loss! I once heard Elkhart Tolled state..something to the effect that we are mearly life forms. Our purpose is to be always in the present..and to be at peace on earth, to accept death rather than fear it. To actually die. Meaning our egos! You might find his books interesting. It was very emotional for is all. The Pugnetti's have been more like my parents. I love them, you all so much. There was also some closure for our marriage of 19 years! To know that our sons (Pugnetti blood) have grown to be MEN and have true love and compassion for FAMILY AND STRENGTH FOR EACH OTHER IN THAT PARTICULAR HEARTBREAKING TIME, made me realize that no thing can keep us apart but one thing remains forever LOVE. I LOVE CHRIS and always will. He made me a Pugnetti and gave me our children to live this legacy. Mom? I spoke with her, I agree that she may seem emotionless yet she grieves! But she knows she /they have raised an amazing family, grandchildren, faith in the lord and ULTIMATE LOVE.....EVERLASTING! LOVE YOU!