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I am coming to hate the fact that my peers and I are all of a certain age. Right now, it's not the fact that many of us are pushing 50 or have exceeded that number, it's not that many of us have bodies that just don't rebound like they used to from injuries, it is the simple fact, that so many of us are losing loved ones.

In the past couple of months, I have had several friends lose a parent and as of this morning, my brother's mother-in-law crossed over. I have recognized the aging process is not only hard on those that are nearing their time, but on their caregivers as well. I've watched friends and family run ragged by the traipsing back and forth to hospitals, keeping vigils and dealing with hospice care, in home and out. I know I am becoming confronted with my own mortality on a daily basis, and yes it makes me introspective, and has me revisit my own issues around death, dying and those left behind.

And lest I sound like I'm on a total downer with this I am not. I am heartened by the way we keep on, despite the emotional, physical and mental exhaustion of the effort. I have witnessed friends and loved ones rally together, support one another, because it's a shared experience. Daily we become more of each other's chosen family, be it by lending a shoulder to cry on, an ear to bend or raising a glass in memory.

Because you see as we share our families' pasts and passings with each other in our present, we weave ourselves a tighter bond. Whether I am sharing the memory of my mother chasing me with one flip-flop on, and the other wildly wiggling in her hand, and only catching me because I can't stop laughing at the sight, or the friend fondly remembering the parent with perfect pitch, or the family's favorite restaurant. There is a certain emotional "je ne sais quoi" that is shared, and it bridges age, and religion.

So even though it feels as if my friends and family are facing a multitude of passings at the moment; I can celebrate the lives that have gone before me, and the legacy and the fortitude they have implanted in the individuals that they have left behind.

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mujetdebois

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