A Note On Lasts
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Health and Wellness

A Note On Lasts

Because sometimes the end doesn't go as we had planned

A Note On Lasts

On December 30, 2015, my grandfather passed away after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease. To be precise, he passed away two hours before my mom and I arrived from a seven-hour drive. The loss was tragic for my family, but one part of how it happened cut to a deeper level for my mom. My mother was deprived of having a last memorable conversation with him and felt cheated as if the last words with a loved one were a privilege that death would wait for. She, along with most people, holds an optimistic view of lasts.

In the idealistic person’s mind, the end adheres to the script of a novel or a film. The words never fall flat. The person only dies after the family comforts him and tells him they love him one final time. The moment is as touching and special as losing a person can be, but it is all fake. Real life isn’t written, and lasts aren’t put together; they’re messy. Words meant to complete a lifetime of relationships can’t achieve the kind of fulfilling effect you would ultimately desire. What makes one “I love you” special enough to be the last? How can anything be ideal enough to be the end?

The romanticizing of lasts isn’t limited to those who pass away. Sometimes it could be the last goodbye of the summer, the last day of the year, or the last episode of a television show. There is something about the finality of an event that makes us want to appreciate and use all we have to honor it. It’s a way of saying that the other times may have been special, but the last time will be far, far more; it is our deserved grand finale on the Fourth of July fireworks show. We feel deprived and stripped of all fairness when the last time is just ordinary. Maybe it’s because people want everything to go out with a bang, not a whimper. We want the earned closure and the heightened emotions, not the abrupt ending and the unsustainable memory. We want all the pieces to come together in that moment, a tying up of memories and emotions and words. Maybe we want too much.

Life is neither perfect nor fair, and I know that isn’t a shocker to anyone. People can leave your life as simply as they entered it, and the world carries on. The words you need to speak can come out wrong or not at all. The wrong you need to right can become permanent. There is no perfect way to face someone’s personal finality, and there’s no perfect schedule that life and death obey. Things begin and end every day, and on that day, it was the end of my grandfather’s life. And I don’t know my last spoken words to him or even a last topic of conversation. But what I do know is that he loved me and I loved him. And those are my last words that never need to be spoken to be true.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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