Human Mortality & An Empath’s Tears

Personal Tragedy

When I was 22 my grandfather called me into his room and told me to go into the next room to get a statue of a Native American he had made many years ago. It is still a very clear memory for me because I remember being in that same room and looking up and noticing it for the first time earlier that same night. I recall thinking to myself in passing, ‘Beautiful. I want something like that.’ I carried it into him and he told me he was giving it to me.

He had been passing little bits and pieces of himself on to me for years, particularly since he found out he was dying. And even then, I treasured each piece, as I do now, like it was a rare jewel encased in precious metals.

When I was 16 he gave me his dogtag and his patches from WW2. I have kept his dog tags on a bed of dried roses in a special memento box since that time. Since the time he gave it to me I would pluck a petal from each of the roses my father would give to my mother and secret them away in that box, so that it was more than a single family memory. It was one built on generations of family.

He was the light in my life up until the time he passed, and remains so to this day. He was like a second father to me. And I loved him so much.

He was one of those types of men who, upon their exterior, were autocratic and authoritative. And anyone might have mistaken that for a cold man. But there was so much depth in him and so much love. Even in my own darkest moments, he never judged me and only ever welcomed me with a love and warmth that I’ve only rarely seen since then.

When he died, I was at his bedside. And I remember looking at him and feeling as though that was no longer him in the bed. And I remember feeling like a weight had been lifted off me because he wasn’t in pain anymore. Strangely, all of the sorrow I felt from that moment on were a reflection of what others were feeling, because I saw no reason to cry when he was at peace finally.

We’ve all come face to face with human mortality once in our lives, whether you have lost someone dear to you, or you were faced with natural disasters that took people you cared for away or you came face to face with tragedies like 9/11.

How did you cope with it? How did you cope with the dual burden of your own grief mingled with that of everyone that surrounded you? And was the funeral something you could liken to walking through a hot desert without food, water, and shade for hundreds of miles? Were you the shoulder that everyone else cried upon? Or were you, perhaps, the one in need of a shoulder?

Healthcare Workers, Caretakers, and Human Angels

What about those of you who work with the ill and the dying in hospitals, hospices, and in homecare? How do each of you cope? Or do you give until you have nothing left to offer and you are so burned out you only go through the motions of caring for others?

Working and caring for those in need, who are sick and/or dying, is a hard calling to follow and should always be admired. The personal sacrifice of those who choose this vocation is amazing. The amount of empathy these people offer to others, whether they are an Empath or not, is awe inspiring and at the same time, staggering for them.

Empaths & Mortality

I know this is not a topic anyone would truly wish to read about. But I’m sure its also a topic that many can relate to first hand. And sadly, once in the life of every Empath, you will have to face human mortality, whether it is someone you care for or for yourself. And you, as an Empath, have the unique ability to help others through the grieving process, if you so choose, because of your shared pain over the loss of your loved one.

What is the point of this discussion? Everyone dies. And everyone grieves. And no doubt, so to will you. But in your sorrow do not forget and/or shut out all of the other people who are mourning beside you. As much as you can be support to others, so to can they be that for you. Because even in that moment, where, perhaps, you can not imagine a life without that other person and you feel at your loneliest, the truth is you are not alone.


~ by Misuchi Sakurai on June 15, 2009.

3 Responses to “Human Mortality & An Empath’s Tears”

  1. I landed on your site while doing a web search on the words,
    archetypes empaths. What an amazing post – The Wounded Healer:
    Archetyping Of An Empath.

    Then I clicked to locate this your latest post. Seems it’s been awhile since
    you’ve written something new.

    For a very long time I’ve had this beautiful piece about a Grandmother.
    If you change the wording, may it bring you comfort in the passing
    of your Grandfather.

    xo xo

    Why Was She Here?

    “When I faced the loss of my dear
    Grandmother Rose, I asked the
    question, ‘Why was she here?’ for I could
    not comprehend a day without her
    gentle smile and caring touch. The loss was
    so painful. But as days and months passed, I
    found that the pain I had felt began to
    transform itself into something completely new.
    The empty hole in my life was slowly
    filled in with a warmth. As I lived again and
    worked myself into a daily routine,
    I began to understand that my successes
    and achievements were her pats on the back,
    her hugs when I was discouraged and her
    stories of her dreams and hopes for her
    children and grandchildren when I had none.

    So, the question ‘Why?’ became clear,
    I realized that my life was an extension of
    hers. When there is a hole someplace in the
    world, I believe a warmth eventually fills it.
    When there is poverty, a richness of spirit
    eventually comes to help.
    I believe we are here for each other; to lift,
    to encourage, to dream. Without that kind of giving,
    we cease to exist. So, as Rose gave to me, I try to
    give to others in my work, in my personal life,
    in my charity. For me, that is why.
    That is harmony.”

    Marlee Matlin
    Academy Award winning
    actress for her part in
    Children of a Lesser God

  2. HI Misu,

    You are very welcome. I have had that piece from Ms Matlin for over
    15 years.

    I am thrilled to know that you have not stopped writing… JUST moved. 😉

    Warm Regards,

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