Sunday, February 07, 2010
I've had a thoughtful day, though also joyous with uproarious Liam laughter. I think I'm at a new place about death. I've felt for a long time that I could accept death on certain terms (that the older generations died first, that I had some warning, time to say good bye, no sudden death). Of course death sets her own terms and we don't get to choose. My friend Lois died suddenly yesterday and the words that her husband and son have written about their experience of her unexpected death - the pain and shock and yet their ability to be there for each other and do what they needed to do, somehow strengthened me. It's like when we had our house fire and I managed in the terror of the flaming night to do what I needed to to get sleeping three year old Ruth out safely. I had been terrified I would freak and freeze if faced with fire in the night, but I didn't. I've been equally terrified of sudden death, my own or someone else's close - not the death but the suddenness. I seem released from that fear tonight, and very thankful to Lois' family for sharing their experience. We never know who we touch and help, even in our darkest hours.