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On death and dying

by Janet Carson July 11, 2020 at 8:17 p.m.

Thomas La Mance once said, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

And doesn’t this year match that saying! The older one gets, the more precious life becomes. And life doesn’t always go like we had planned.

Hearing about the death of a friend that is close to our own age, or someone younger, brings things into a different perspective. It gives one pause, and a thought to our own lives. This week, there were three deaths of people I knew. One was a close friend of my son’s-- aged 39, another was a daughter of a good friend --aged 33, and the other was a friend and husband of a dear friend- aged 70+. None were expected. I don’t know if that makes things easier or harder—a sudden loss, or a lingering one. I am not sure easy is even a possibility when describing loss. Degrees of difficulty may be a better description. Everyone handles loss in their own way, at their own pace, and in their own time. There is no formula of what is right or wrong when dealing with grief.

As a friend, we all want to say the right thing, do the right thing, be there for the one who lost their husband, wife, child, sister, brother, friend. We get caught up in the old greetings – How are you? Good; How do you feel? Fine—when neither is true. I have decided that just being there is enough—but on their terms.

This week was a reminder that life is short and you don’t know what tomorrow holds. Make the most of it. Have dessert if you want it (or another glass of wine). Get your bathroom remodeled, tell your kids/spouse/friends you love them. As someone said: Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows, and live your today's.

Goodbye, Cedric, Katherine, and Allan!

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