I learned Monday that one of my former students who has a special place in my heart had suffered a family tragedy. He lost his father and his mother was critically injured (thankfully her outlook is good). In an instant his family changed forever.
I am reminded that we never know how long we have with the people we care about. I am reminded that it is never long enough. I am reminded that the opportunity to say goodbye the way would like to rarely is an option. I am reminded that tomorrow it could be me or you or someone we love.
I understand from personal experience what it is like to lose someone quickly and unexpectedly. It delivers the kind of shattering impact that you feel in every fiber of your being. It is difficult to take in and adjust to and the feeling of loss – well, it never really goes away. Thankfully, time helps…some say it heals. But loss is loss. The loss cannot be remediated. All that is left is to remember the value of the life and the gifts that life gave to you and others it touched.
That is what life is really – the interweavings of moments where paths cross, thoughts are shared, love is given, compassion is shown, and relationships are nurtured. Folks regularly move in and out of our lives – not always swiftly without notice and not always are they forever gone, but our paths are filled with entrances and exits of folks that touch us or matter to us.
The sad reality is that eventually we all lose people we love. It is never easy. The permanence of the loss echoes in the heart like the reverberations of cymbals in a long silent hallway. The reverberations may become less powerful as you move down the hallway, but they do not disappear.
I am sad for Josh’s loss…for the angst his family is feeling. I have nothing to offer but my sympathy and empathy, and I know that while those things are helpful they do nothing to fill the gaping hole the loss created. But I can say this to Josh as a parent who will undoubtedly some day die and leave children behind – know that the heart of a parent is most happy knowing that their children are okay. I believe Josh’s dad would want him to do his best to find peace with his untimely death and to spend his time dwelling in the happy memories they had together. I believe that is what all parents hope for when they are gone. As a child who lost a parent unexpectedly I know that understanding this truism about parents is comforting.
I extend my condolences to Josh and his family and I pray that solace can be found in the memories they hold dear. I hope they will be able to remember the laughter, the love and the lessons…I hope they will be able to find peace in the time they had with a good man that loved them uniquely.
Day eight hundred and seventy-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da