While I was gone…

I really couldn’t help not posting for several days, I was out of state and away from my computer.

That’s all my explanation and apology. It was a family tragedy.

It happens to everyone, but as the cliché goes, you never think it’ll happen to you.

I think though that I knew it would happen eventually, I just didn’t know when and I didn’t see it coming. I almost don’t believe it still.

What a crazy week, between visiting the bereaved my family tried to snatch a little bit of the vacation we were planning to have this year because now we can’t do it, and then there was a hasty funeral and long trip home.

Bringing me up to today, when I’m recovering and still trying to process these events.

There’s a few things I think everyone experiences when one of their family members dies. There’s a realization that death really happens, and could happen to you. The immediate response is fear.

There’s usually anger. In this case the cause of death was not wearing a seatbelt and driving too fast. Why was the person so stupid?

There’s shock of course. And most of all there’s regret that you spent less time than you wished with them.

If I’m totally honest,  I admit that people probably spend about as much time with each other as they really want to. The problem isn’t that death cuts it short but that we prioritize the wrong things or just neglect the ones that are more difficult. And the truth is, if it were me who died, other people would feel like they should have spent more time with me.

And maybe they should have, or should really. But I wouldn’t blame them all that much that they didn’t because that’s the way life is. We don’t always get the chance to do all that we think we should. We’re human and we miss what’s right in front of us, or what’s far away from us and yet very real.

This may sound like I’m taking a cynical view of this, but I’m not, I’m trying to avoid the common mistake of thinking that knowing this was coming would have made anyone different. It should make us different anyway, but I’ve never liked the idea of being nice to people because you fear death.

The fact is, death may be a wake up call for some, but for many it’s a shadow. One that will go away in time if we heal in the right way, but one people often cling to as their new normal.

The important thing is not to focus on death and how it’s a possibility, because it always was, and it’ll ruin your life to be always thinking of it.

The thing to think of is how everyone’s life is so short, but no one’s is meaningless.

I didn’t know this person who died all that well, I wish I had, but at least some people did. It is better to find out that someone was an amazing person than to find out that they did no one any good.

What I have learned is that there is more to people than you can know based on a slim acquaintance. Even if you are able to judge one part of their character, there may be another part you knew nothing about. If that makes me a little less quick to assume in the future then that’s a good thing.

But I don’t expect it to completely change my own character, and I’m not foolish enough to try that, only One person’s death can change someone’s character in that radical way.

Maybe you were expecting a different post, and for all I know, this just sounds like the typical way people try to comfort themselves after a tragedy, and perhaps that’s what it is.

Perhaps, also, that’s fine because grief is typical in life.

I am not afraid to die myself, I am only afraid to die before I’ve really helped anyone or changed anything, or done something that was important and unselfish and brought God the glory.

I know what kind of person I want to be before I die, but I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near close enough to being her.

And I don’t know how well my family member was satisfied with his life, not too well from what I’ve heard, but he couldn’t see the incredible person he was destined to be.

I guess it’s not where you are now so much as where you’re going to be, sooner or later, and with many bumps along the way.

As many times as I have heard the above said, it’s so easy to forget and think the present is our permanent state of being. It’s not. Things will get worse or better, they will never stay just the same.

Worse or better will alternate, but the overall effect is up to you and what you want to believe in.

And those are my thoughts on this for now. Until next time–Natasha.


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