Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life, Death and Unexpected Gifts

Life sure keeps on being interesting.  The seasons pass.  The garden grows.  The days grow longer, and then shorter.  The squash keep growing no matter what else is happening.  Couldn't stop those squash from growing if you tried.  It's a welcome diversion from death, job loss and general uncertainty.

But yeah, I lost my dear friend Scott, and I lost my job.  And I got rear-ended 3 times in a little over a month. I care way more about the friend than the job or the car, but there's been a lot of uncertainty, more than I even have words for.  Death has a way of shaking you up, of bringing everything into focus, of showing you what matters, and also showing you that no matter what you may think you know, you really don't know anything about anything.  Except that life is short, and that you should always attempt to spend it celebrating the people you love, who are right here, right now.  And that you should never assume you'll have another chance to celebrate that love while the ones you love are still alive.  Because they could be gone in an instant, and so could you.

Death also brings some unexpected gifts, like being able to spend countless hours with the family of the dear friend who has passed, and to get to know them in a new way.  And getting to spend time meeting so many people who were deeply touched by the friend who has gone, hearing their stories, laughing with them, crying with them.  I'm honored that I've been able to help Scott's family, to meet more of his friends, and to celebrate his life.  I'm happy that I was able to share some of my life with him, especially recently.  And if I hadn't lost my job, I wouldn't have had nearly as much time to be present for all of this, so I'm mindful that there are unexpected gifts in all kinds of places.  And thankful for every one of them.

If you asked for my advice, I would tell you this:  Go call that friend or family member that you've been meaning to check in with. Tell them you love them, bring them soup or a flower, or send them a card if you are far away.  If you can see them in person, hold their hand if they are hurting.  Tell them that they are perfect just the way that they are.  Laugh with them, and do it right now.  Because now is really all we have.

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