Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Life as we know it

It's been a strange, makes you think type week.

My brother's mother....I know that sounds strange.. I sorta giggle everytime I say it. He's technically my half-brother, but I tried to figure out which 1/2 was my half one time and gave up. He's my brother, the technicalities don't matter - except in times like this..... his mother passed away from a 3 year battle with cancer the other day.

Then yesterday afternoon I get a phone call from someone I barely remember. He was a roomate of some friends of ours, Chad & Jody, from years ago, back when Taryn was just a baby. He tells me that Chad died the night before, in Jody's arms. It took a moment for my mind to wrap those words together into a sentence that made sense. "How? What happened?"

They think it was a heart attack.

A heart attack? Chad is only 34 years old! He has a son not much younger than Taryn! And Jody - she doesn't know life without Chad. They've been together since she was a teenager - he was her first everything.

So I was thinking yesterday and I know this has been thought many times by many people and really, the answer doesn't matter - it doesn't change anything, but you think it just the same. Which is better or worse? A long battle, knowing the outcome and knowing it's coming... so that you can say what you have to say, do what you have to do? Or... one minute you are here, the next you are gone. I don't know the answer and I don't think there is one. All I know is that 2 families that I know are suffering right now in different ways - they both feel sadness, loneliness and heartbreak, but one... feels a sense of peace, when the other is in a whirlwind of confusion and panic.

Even though we haven't talked to Chad & Jody in years, I know that no matter what - Chad died right where he would have wanted to.

And Carol, she was surrounded by family & friends, just as she wanted. She had enormous amounts of love surrounding her up until the last moment.

It all makes you really stop and think.

1 comment:

SledChick said...

It certainly does make you think.

We've had a similar experience here lately. Last week a 9 year old classmate of my son's died from complications from a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare anemia. She was diagnosed about a year ago, but the outcome was expected to be better than it was. none of us were close with her, but the whole idea of a child dying is just so unatural. My son was quite shocked.

My husband can't stand hearing about it, but I find myself contemplating it every now and then. Of course, it's all served as a reminder of how precious and fragile these guys are, and how lucky we are to have 4 healthy children.