My friends mother lost her battle with cancer last week. She was only 62 years old. The day after she died my friend gave birth to her second girl. Life moves on.
A former classmate of mine died suddenly in his sleep. He was only 33. He has a wife and 2 young children.
Even though death is a part of life, the shock of its occurrence never goes away. Even for those who are ill and the families are able to plan their deaths do not escape the finality of the passing.
One minute we are here, living and the next we are not.
The death of my friend's mother signals a new chapter in my life as an adult. I am 30 and our parents are getting older. It is a fact that I hate admitting. My dad turned 60 in December and to me he is still very young, but time is more precious than it used to be.
The death of this young man who is essentially my age is unabashedly mind blowing. All I can think of is the wife and children he left behind and the decades he still had left to be with his family. All I can think of is, what if that happens to me? And, it makes me realize that it can happen to me or anyone else I know.
When I was in my 20's a couple of people I knew died- one in a tragic accident and one was murdered. Murdered. It seemed impossible then and it still seems impossible. He had just turned 26. It was over five years ago but I still cannot believe that this young man died such a horrible death. He had so much to give to the world.
Every day is a gift. My health is a gift. My family and friends are gifts. I have to make it my mantra to be grateful.
As we are devoured by this recession and the pending depression that is predicted, I can't help but think, who cares. We'll make it through. As long as we have each other we will get through these tough economic times. My family joked that we would make huge vegetable gardens in our yards and feed ourselves if it got that bad. We have 200 acres of woods- we'll burn wood for heat.
My heart is heavy for my friend and her family who will be celebrating the life of their mother, wife, friend and grandmother this weekend. My heart goes out to my fellow classmates and community members whose lives are now changed forever, leading a different course without the man they loved the most.