Saturday, July 21, 2012

Before Their Time

It started a few months ago with Charlotte's Web.

We decided it was time to dive into the all time classic tale with the babe.  I love the book and have always had a special place in my heart for Wilbur the pig.  As we made our way through the story, I began dreading Charlotte's impending death.  I wasn't sure how the babe would take it and I wasn't sure what I would say to comfort her.  When Charlotte died I had to stop reading as I couldn't stop crying.  The babe yelled down to my husband, "Mama's crying and she can't read anymore!"  Apparently I didn't need to explain anything to her.  I was the one who couldn't handle the tiny spider's death.

We recently traveled to Canada for my dear little brother's wedding.  It was a spectacular event that brought much joy to our family and friends.   

Right before we left for Canada, a dear friend of my husband's family passed away.  My husband and I managed to make it to the funeral in Ottawa to pay our respects.  While I have only known the family a few years, I could not help but weep during the service.  To see so many people grieve and go through such an extreme loss is an overwhelming experience.  How do you say goodbye to a loved one and carry on?    

A few days later, on the day of my brother's wedding, we received news that my Uncle's youngest brother had passed away unexpectedly at the age of 51 while on vacation with his family.  The news shook us all.  I can not stop thinking of his wife and two children.    

This past week my husband's colleague lost his 47-year-old brother.  He also leaves behind a wife and two children.

And yesterday 12 people lost their lives while attending a movie in Colorado.

How can we make sense of it all?  And how do we adequately celebrate our lives and the lives of our families and loved ones while we are living them?  Too often we get stuck in the crap that life throws at us.  Where do we find the strength to remember that every day is a gift?  

I am not sure I will ever be able to adequately explain death to the babe and the little guy.  I am not sure we ever grow up enough to understand or explain it.  It will happen to each and every one of us at some point and as yesterday's events solidify, we don't know when, where or why.  All we can do is try to live our lives in the best way we can and love those who bring us joy.  As my Uncle's late brother said, it is not the years you have lived but the life you have lived in those years.     

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