Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

The Difference in Deaths?

Posted by fozzynok on 12/03/2010

Is there a difference in death? I can honestly say that I believe so. I got caught off guard the other day and it struck me how different that a death can be. November 30th was the anniversary of my mother’s passing 22 years ago. I had long forgotten this date as the date was never more important that the loss. The loss was I guess ingrained in me as a young man. It is a certainty that at some point in our lives we will lose our parents our elders even our siblings. For my mother this happened far too soon and not in the best manner. She was taken by the beast, Cancer. She fought it off the first time, but as most beasts do, they can sense when you are weak may come back to claim what they missed the first time.

My mother was a damn important person in my life. She was always my mother but we were also great friends we had the type of relationship where nothing really was out-of-bounds. She was someone who I admired for being able to do what she did. When the beast had her for the second time and the battle was near the end, I could tell that she was just tired of fighting and there is no more helpless a feeling that watching someone you love so much, start to lose their battle to live. We talked about it one day and I told her how much I loved her and that if my kids turned out half as good as I feel that I turned out, I would be proud. I told her that when she felt she needed to, that there was nothing wrong with letting go. We would all be OK because of the way she and my dad raised us. We were raised to do the best we could with whatever we had at the time.

No long after that, I got the call one evening that my mother had indeed passed away. I was like everyone upset and mourned for our loss but this was no shock. I could feel better and almost relieved that she was no longer in pain and that for the first time in years could get some peace. I know that my mother is still with me and has never really left the family. There are a lot of examples of this. This brings me to the difference in deaths in our lives. Mt Grandfather passed away while I was stationed in Germany he too was caught by the beast… I gathered my Infantry brothers around, had a drink to him and his life and I moved on as he would have expected. My mother expected the same and I owed that to her. I had a young family to support and raise and all I could do was get after the task of doing that with a few moments of seeking out her silent advice on what to do at various times.. But always moving forward…

The death of my son is completely different and the hour and the date are seemingly forever burned into my soul. I cannot seem to move past this. Where glimpses and thoughts of my mother or grandpa bring me thoughts of happiness and even a smile or two, when something triggers thoughts of my son, there is only feelings of deep remorse and dread. The simplest thing can get me into that mode where I cannot seem to go anywhere but backward, back to the moment, phone call, the news, the wait, the ceremonies and too his loss. There seems to be a difference in seeing what we lost as opposed to what my son lost. I think I mourn more for what he has lost more than what I have lost this time. At this time of year when there is so much electricity in the air, so many past memories of my own childhood and of my own children. I hope someday to meet up with all of my lost loved ones someday in the great hereafter … I hope I’m worthy enough to make this happen. I hope that they all have a Merry Christmas and are out there somewhere enjoying the love that we all had for each other. I love you all and miss you still.

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7 Responses to “The Difference in Deaths?”

  1. Jean said

    I agree with you 100%. Pain comes in many forms. I had a grandmother die from a long battle with cancer. Then a few years later my father-in-law died suddenly at 57 yrs old from a heart attack. I loved both dearly, but his death was much, much harder to bear. Maybe some day the memories of your son will give you peace rather than pain?

    Merry Christmas, and thank you for your patriotism.

  2. suzannahi said

    i now understand your anger towards GOD but GOD had nothing to do with your mothers death its calld being human… GOD didnt take her away from you cause he didnt like you or your mother… but its natural to blame GOD for everything bad that happens to us.. maybe if you were not so angry towards GOD and JESUS you would see how kind,gentle and loveing HE is and give HIM a chance to show you how much HE LOVES and cares for you and yes your mother too…peace man….

    • fozzynok said

      I’m not sure why you’d even drag god into the mix. I’m not sure how you can ascribe anger in anything related to this. We are born, we get sick, we die, its the way the whole gig works. The blog is about how deaths affect us differently. This doesn’t involve god into the equation at all.

  3. Cynthia said

    My first attempt failed to be sent so I’ll try again. I said how much I appreciate and try to show that whenever I see a soldier. You’re right. So few have correct priorities in this culture but you, your family, living and dead, don’t have to be caught up in the superficiality of this culture. You must notice it but you can and obviously do recognize it for the truth of what it is.
    I cried when I read your comments because I can feel the pain you’re experiencing. Not from experience but just as a fellow human being. I am so sorry. I’ve been praying for my Marine nephew, his fellow soldiers, the Afghan people he meets and the enemy. I will ask God to help you in coming to a peace with Him, the kind that leads to peace throughout all of life. I’m so sorry for your loss. God can help you to help others thereby honoring your son’s inestimable value with the use of your valuable life. The key is that no one is simply flesh and blood but spirit and soul (mind, will and emotion). It’s the body that dies. The other parts are eternal. This, in itself, is not necessarily reassuring but it can be. Seek God. He is near. He wants you to know Him. He made each of us for that purpose.

    • fozzynok said

      Well, thanks for the comments, there are things that I see as having merit and somethings not so much. I wish you and your nephew and his entire team best wishes.

      • Cynthia said

        Thankyou for the good wishes. I will pass those on to his mother and father. You know more than most how they are suffering: not knowing where their little boy is, what he’s doing, if he’s alright…. What are those things you consider meritorious and not so meritorious?

      • fozzynok said

        For people who share in a belief of god or gods, wishing them well via that shared god is a great and welcome thing. A lot of the people who I’ve encountered used their god or gods to harm or to demean. As I’ve said many many times in my life there is no separating these gods or belief systems. They are and always have been the same. The names change, the ceremonies are different but the action of humans in groups who follow religions have never ever been any different in the eyes of history. I do not have a god by name nor do I espouse or endorse any of the revealed religions. I never have and never will. When people attribute this to my son’s death, then it is rather insulting because its a conclusion and again in some cases done to harm rather than to offer relief. My son had the same belief system. He went off to fight the bad guys who were harming innocent people, these bad guys are truly bad but they are no less a threat that previous bad guys who believed a different religion. I do not give free passes due to the passing of time. Evil is evil. Being a “Blue Star” parent is no easy task these days. There really isn’t much support as the military community in this nation is pathetically small. It’s hard to not get frustrated with the American lemmings when you have a huge part of your life over in a hostile place and the world seems completely oblivious.

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