Friday, October 29, 2010

Life is Precious

I went to the funeral of a good friend tonight. I wish I hadn't. Not that I wish I didn't go, but I wish there wasn't a funeral to go to in the first place.

Roger was 27 years old and died of testicular cancer. Something isn't right with this picture. I know cancer doesn't discriminate between race, age or gender... but I sincerely hope for a day when cancer doesn't kill people anymore. It's not ok that someone with so much life left to live is now gone. Forever. It makes me sad to think of all the things he'll never get to do.

It was weird being back at the funeral home. I hadn't been there since my good friend Charlie's funeral in 2007. He died in a car accident. He hit a tree. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. Another senseless death.

I suppose it doesn't matter the reason. Be it cancer or a car accident, it doesn't make sense to me when someone's life is so abruptly cut short. Young people shouldn't be dying.

Life is precious and it's too bad that it takes losing someone to remember just how precious it is. Losing loved ones when they're in their 80s is hard enough, but it makes sense when they go. Like my grandparents. I miss them terribly, but it's ok that they're gone now. They were 82 and 83 years old respectively. They'd lived their lives and it was their time. I'm not a religious person, but I won't be convinced that it was Roger's time to go. Or Charlie's.

It's hard enough to lose my friend. But, my heart breaks for his family. For his fiance, my friend Missy. For his brother. His parents. I wasn't close to his family, but I can't imagine. It made me want to snuggle Madeline a little tighter. I don't want her to ever have to face such situations. It made me want to appreciate Jeff more. Roger died at 27 years old. Jeff is 28. Jeff also doesn't like to go to the Dr. when he doesn't feel good - just like Roger didn't. It makes me worried that I'll lose him, too, before he's lived a long life. It makes me worry that these things could happen to Madeline. Death is so final, it makes you realize what's important - who's important in your life.

Selfishly, I hope I never know the pain of losing Madeline or Jeff before "their time" but in all actuality, there's nothing I can do to prevent it from happening if it's going to. I just need to make the most of every minute I have with them. That's all I can do. I need to cherish every moment with my loved ones. And I need to make it known to them just how much I love them. Because once they, or I, am gone it'll be too late.

Hug your babies. Your partners. Your parents. Your siblings and nieces and nephews. Call your friends that you haven't talked to in a while. Tell everyone you love that you love them. You'll wish you did, once they're gone.

But I hope they're not going anywhere anytime soon.


Jaynie L said...

Great advice! We all forget how precious life is, as we rush through our days, or we let little annoyances get out of control. Thanks for bringing it back into perspective. Sorry to hear about your friend. My condolences, and huge hugs. xo

Larissa said...

So sad to hear about your friend. :( I lost a friend back in April to cancer - she too was 27. I understand your sadness about life being cut too short and the kinds of feelings it brings up about wanting to cherish every person and every day. I'm thinking of you and sending big hugs and love your way!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cole for the wonderful advice. I know that sometimes we get tied up in the rush of life. We just need to take a step back and say "thank you" a little more and " i love you" one more time than usual. Give tons of hugs and make sure that the people that you love, know it! Cherish everyday, you are not promised tomorrow. I am totally crying over here :)
This post brings me back to earlier this week when my mom called me to tell me this guy I grew up with (hes 32) passed away this week from pancreatic cancer;not married, no kids. You never know how long you have, enjoy every day. I love you Cole!!!And tons of long distance hugs!!!

Denise said...

Beautiful post, Nicole. I'm sorry for the loss, but I'm glad you're looking at the positive - appreciating your time with Jeff and Maddie as much as possible. <3