When a young person dies suddenly or from unexpected illness, an entire branch of their family tree is devastated. As with an actual tree, the remaining branches try to fill in and bring about recovery, but it is not an easy thing for anyone in that family.
When an older person dies, it is not that it is easier to accept, it is just a more natural process. That person represents a leaf on a great tree; a leaf of status or one of the upper leaves. When that leaf falls from the tree there is a natural filling in by another such upper leaf.
That older person’s life mirrors the life of that older leaf. It to, was once just a budding leaf, blooming forth to take its place on the great family tree. Hopefully, that person had the chance to grow strong and green, weathering many storms and changes of season. Hopefully that person took his or her place among the higher leaves protecting the greater tree and the lower, younger leaves with its shade.
As time passed, hopefully that person had the chance to show his or her brilliant colors as a leaf does in the fall. And, hopefully, in the end, all the rest of the members of the family tree recognized that life for what it was and what it meant to them.
Lastly, one would hope that someone walking past that family tree would notice the beautiful fallen leaf, pick it up and wonder what kind of life it may have had.
Thank you L.S. for writing this, I really miss my Grandfather.
Photo Credit: Michaela Kobyakov