How did I find the strength to show up until the end? Being willing was all I had to manage and we inched along until the end. If I am willing, I am not broken.
Death closes us down. If you show up for me, maybe your miserable, flawed, beautiful face is just the thing I need to crack me back open. Every death I have ever been at, or heard or read stories about was an answer or part of the answer. Every act of affection I have seen or done is also an answer.
Be willing. Send a condolence card. Be OK with not knowing what to say. Listen. Leave a message; pay respect. Make time. Take time or take food. Show up and do now. Or just slow down and pay attention.
Love and death are the most human things that unites us. The chaos of grief is all the same - no matter if you are blue or red, atheist or evangelical, leftist progressive spiritual or whether you believe in evolution or global warming or not.
Show up for love. Take a lesson from centenarians; they are old and renewable: love who shows up for you. The greatest sadness at 100 is that most everyone you have known and loved is dead. But they are not, generally, lonely but stay alive by being willing to make new friends from the people that show up for them. Renewing family is a higher order of DNA. Choose well from the people who will show up for you.
Show up and be willing. In the end, it was enough for Betty and I.