Sad, Sudden and Tragic

     Three deaths have touched my life this week. All three deaths are sad and each one touched my heart in different ways. A long battle with cancer took the life of a friend; his special sparkle will be greatly missed by me and so very many others. There is a bitter sweetness that comes along with the advance knowledge that your journey on earth is soon coming to an end. Although painful, it’s truly a gift to be given the time to say good-bye to your family and loved ones. Sadly, this gift brings with it a journey of physical pain and struggle. I didn’t have the privileged of getting together with this friend on a regular basis because our homes were far apart; but, when we did connect it was on a deep level; I’ll miss our talks.

     The tragic, senseless and brutal murder of a neighbor strikes my spirit and scars my soul. Innocent and oblivious to any harm coming her way she walked from the Macy’s Department store out to her car. I’ve made this carefree walk many times myself. The sun was shining brightly and it was just before lunch when a total stranger strikes her in the head with a bat. One moment she is a joy filled free spirit traveling in her earthly body and the next she is experiencing pain and violence by a nineteen year old stranger; stripping away her opportunity to say good-bye to the people she loved.

     Tapping my shoulder and reminding me of the importance to live life to its fullest; to tell everyone I love how much I treasure and value their presence in my life is the third death of the week. Who would have thought a simple stumble on the rug would trigger a fall that would cause her head to be struck in such a way that her life would be gone in a matter of hours. An inoperable bleed developed in her brain and without the violence that befell my neighbor, her life on earth is also gone. Swift, senseless and without warning….life is gone.

     I’m not concerning myself with the decision as to which way to die is “better than the other;” there is not a “better” or “worse”. I’ve made the decision to let these deaths have power in my “living:” to let them add value; give them a positive impact on me. I will use them as a reminder to share more hugs and communicate my love more clearly.

To Scott, Cheryl & Lucy……may your passing give those of us who continue to travel in our bodies, the reminder to appreciate and communicate our love at all times.

“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one's health is more,
To lose one's soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in "Tomorrow,"
For the Clock may then be still.”

Robert H. Smith


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