Death is a transition. I’m not about to suggest what might be found on the other side of life, but I do feel that anyone’s death causes a ripple in the cosmic fabric. My father-in-law died. His death caused his immediate family to pause and consider; “What comes next?” While he is in transit, who knows where, we living souls must decide how and where to continue our existence.
My wife’s mother, after 68 years with the same fella, after living almost 40 plus years in the same place, has decided she wants to come home with us to Victoria, BC. There will be many stages to this transition. As my special mom comes to terms with no longer being a wife she appears to be open to the probability of forming new relationships. There may be time for assisted living. Some of her friends have said they are enjoying the experience. Another scenario might be a new home to accommodate the three of us. We will have to tread slowly as we respectfully navigate each other’s preferences while adapting to any new possibilities. Decisions will have to be made with sometimes conflicting emotional interests: sentimentality, practicality, comfort, personalities, individual abilities and disabilities will all have to be balanced to find a new normal.
A physical move is often difficult: packing, a relocation road trip and unpacking! There’s an endless need to analyze information to determine the best course of action. Everyone has a moving story that fits somewhere on a spectrum of Hell to Mildly Annoying. Time can modify the worst of these experiences so they can eventually become humorous. The mental and emotional toll is never easy to cleanse. The psychological transition may require metaphorical bandaids to patch over ruffled feathers. Dismissive words that belittle real worries can add to the trauma of transit from point A to point B.
It is in this regard that I can find empathy with Transexual individuals. Their journey requires a movement of realms beyond my comprehension. It is a monumental transition, not entered into lightly. I have taken my sexuality for granted, yet I can empathize with the journey required to find peace within your own body. Elders, like me, can certainly relate to a body that changes with age. As our parts deteriorate we moan that we don’t like what we see. Those wealthy enough will choose surgery to pull their saggy bits back into place. We’ve all looked in the mirror and been judgemental: Society’s gaze can be crippling especially as you transition into a new you.
From birth to death we are constantly in a transitory state. There are times when we feel stagnant. In all the times of my life, I have hated stasis the most. Whether we are moving through time or space we can make our experience easier or harder. I’ve learned to seek people and advice like I would opening a book. Information assists me in making better decisions. Other’s stories can enable a smoother transition regardless of the nature of the change.