Thursday, July 21, 2011
On Death and Dying
I’m 37 years old which is way too young to be thinking about death, right? I’ve now lost 3 friends under the age of 40 within the past 6 months so I’m starting to wonder. To clarify none of them were close friends – just people I’d spent time with at some point in my life. Honestly if not for Facebook I probably would’ve lost touch with them all years ago. Not because I didn’t like them or have anything in common with them, but because after marriage and children life tends to get in the way of old friendships. Given the passive nature of our current relationships the news of each death while shocking wasn’t something that rocked me to the core. Instead each time I was left with a quiet sadness to reflect upon the brief moments we’d shared. I definitely feel sorry that I’ll never see them again, but I’m more saddened for the young families that each left behind. I guess I need to face it – life is fleeting. And whether we like it or not we have little to no control over when it’s our time to go. As I somberly looked through the Facebook profiles of Brian, Justin, and Christine, and read through the notes of sympathy left behind on their walls (I know, it seems strange to talk about FB profiles and wall messages at a time like this, but I guess this is our new reality) I was struck by a couple of quotes from Justin and Christine:
From Christine Cook Gajda who bravely battled breast cancer before succumbing to the disease on July 17, 2011: "I just wish everyone had my perspective...don't sweat the small stuff...it’s all so insignificant...it all doesn't mean anything when it comes down to it. Just appreciate all the people you love and leave behind the ones that cause strife...there's no time for that."
From Justin Yates who tragically died in a plane crash on June 1, 2011: “Life is like the weather. One day it's Sunshine and Blue Skies and the next day it's Thunderstorms, Rain, and Wind and then back to sunshine and blue skies. No matter what you are going through.......just know that sunshine and blue skies are right around the corner. We have to appreciate the dark to enjoy the light.”
I was moved by their words and just wanted to share. I’m convinced now more than ever that life is beautiful, and we should enjoy every minute. I tend not to get too serious on this blog but there’s a time and a place for everything. Three bright stars who burned out far too soon. RIP my friends.