Every so often, it seems like we go through times in life where a lot of things are happening to a lot of people. For example, sometimes it seems like everyone we know is getting married, or there are babies being born everywhere we look. Everyone is buying a house, or buying a car, or changing jobs.
As we get older, it is inevitable that we start hearing more and more about people dying around us. We start losing aging relatives and friends. Last year I lost my favourite uncle and two very beloved great aunts.
In the past week or so, I’ve received news about two very different stories of passing. The first was of a man that lives in our area, mostly whom we know to see. We weren’t close friends, or even acquaintances. He was a relatively young man, 66 years of age. Married 40 years, two married sons, 4 young grandchildren. A well respected man, known for being someone of few words, a loving husband and grandfather, as well as a very hard working farmer. Came in the house last week and mentioned to his wife how tired he felt, the next minute he died of a massive heart attack. No warning, no chance. One minute here, the next – gone.
I also received news that a friend of mine lost her grandpa. A different story in many ways. Similar in others. He was also a well liked, well respected man, well known as well. He though, was 98 years old. His legacy that he left behind was huge. Seven children, twenty-one grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren. He had been ailing in recent years, requiring daily care, but overall had been doing well. He passed peacefully, and though everyone was sad to see him go, everyone acknowledged that he had lived a long and full life, and though he would be missed, perhaps it was time for him to go.
Both stories had some meaning for me, though I felt very impacted by the first one. It really hits home that the old saying “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” is not only true, but can apply to anyone. It can apply to me, and to those that I love. And it doesn’t even have to be health related. Accidents happen to those in perfect health.
Listen to me, getting all morbid here. The point of this post was not to drag everyone down, but to remind, as we all need reminding – that life is so precious. All those things that we put off, saying we’ll do tomorrow. All those things that we mean to say – oh, we’ll apologize tomorrow, tell him/her I love them tomorrow. I’ll hug them tomorrow, make that phone call tomorrow. I know that in todays world, things are busy, and there is no way possible to do everything today. But don’t put off the important things that only take a second. Give your kids an extra squeeze. Spoon up behind your spouse in bed for a while and tell them you love them instead of rolling over and going to sleep. Have no regrets. Live your life as though you will be gone tomorrow, and never let circumstances come in between you and the important things. Tomorrow is the gift – and it’s not guaranteed.
We all hope to live a long, happy, full life like my friends grandpa. Many of us will. Just in case though, remember this:
“Fear of death follows from fear of life. Anyone who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain