Clearly I’m still stuck on working through the idea that life happens in the blink of an eye. Maybe I’m finally processing some of the losses in my life over the last few years? I dunno. Maybe it’s the season? Maybe it’s that there are reminders all the time about how quick it can all change?
My oldest walked over to me as I was folding laundry this morning and told me she had just found out her friend’s mom had a massive heart attack and died last night.
“I just saw them last night. I ran an errand and saw him and his mom last night and everything was fine.” It’s not uncommon for people to think back to the last moment that everything was okay. When dealing with a sudden loss, it’s not unusual to pause and think back to just a second ago, everything was normal.
“I just saw him/her.”
“He was making waffles. He was mixing batter….and then he was on the floor.” (Grey’s Anatomy, S1;E6)
“I just talked to them…..”
I have some big, hard, scary things that I deal with every day. I’m living with an inoperable brain tumor. But cancer, or brain tumors, or chronic illness, or autoimmune disease are not what shocks us. That’s not what makes us sit up at night afraid of a sudden loss.
I have several people that I have lost to a sudden an unexpected death. My biological father died this past February of a sudden heart attack. He was gone before he hit the floor. My first step-dad committed suicide. I fell apart when Robin Williams committed suicide last year. ( Long story, no, I didn’t know him.) An old friend died of a sudden heart attack 3 years ago. My last words to him were in anger. I still regret that and I’m trying to make sure that never happens again.
But even in the face of the fear of my kids, my mom, my husband deal with my sudden loss, I would still rather they lost me to a sudden heart attack or a car accident. I live an hour and a half from Washington, DC, out in the middle of no where, where we sometimes share the road with Amish buggies.
But yet we have fatal accidents down here all the time.
My husband and I both watched our Dads die of cancer. The incredibly long, hard, horrible, painful slow deaths of disease taking someone instead of a sudden loss.
My point is that we never know. When your number is up, brother you are done. So you can look in the mirror and see the proof of radiation (as I do), or chronic illness, or surgeries, but don’t leave anything unsaid because you just never know.