day 258: to the end of the numbers

My husband was sad today as he called to tell me that a colleague and long-time friend passed away unexpectedly over the weekend from a pulmonary embolism.  This friend was our age, with kids the same ages as ours.  Those facts alone really make it hit close to home, and all day I felt a weird sense of reflection and out-of-body reviewing of my life.  Very kind and loving tributes were paid to him on both his and his wife's facebook pages, and as I read I wondered what people would think about me if I were to die today.  That macabre thing happens when someone tragically dies, but part of me thinks it is a good thing to let it take over for a little while, so that we learn something, and we re-evaluate where we are and where we would like to be.  

Geo came home around 6, we had a kind of quiet dinner with numbers 3 and 4, and then when they were cleaning up and preparing for a family lesson, G and I went to talk for a bit.  More efforts toward personal connections, he said.  I need to get better at that.  It is natural for women to foster relationships, but not for men.  Not for me.  I want to work harder at connecting socially with people.

We all take different things away from a heart-breaking experience.  My own thoughts, after sitting with it for awhile?  Would my children know that I loved them as much as I do?  Would they know I loved God?  Would they know I had endless faith in them?

Tonight as the day winds down and things settle into my brain and heart a little bit more, I think about the promise of eternal life.  The ones left behind are sad, yes, but can we find comfort in knowing that our friend is not sad?  Can we find comfort in the promise of eternity?  

 The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that this life is not the end, even though trying to comprehend that is almost impossible.  Some of us will spend a larger percentage of our existence in this chapter than others.  We are that we might have joy, and even when we fall short of joy we have God's grace to take us the rest of the way.  All the way to the end of the numbers and back.

16 comments

Lara | May 3, 2010 at 10:21 PM

I know who you are talking about, he was the brother-in-law to good friends of mine. So sad.

And yet, I love your thoughts on this. As always, your eternal perspective and wisdom shine through.

gigi | May 3, 2010 at 10:27 PM

Sorry for your loss and now I too will think about these sweet things that you have posted tonight. Thanks for the reminders.

misssrobin | May 3, 2010 at 10:59 PM

So sorry for your loss. I hope the pain is only there as a reminder of your love for him and the sweet memories are abundant.

Rebecca | May 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Sad happenings like these always make me ponder and think more about what I hold dear.

A month ago, a boy who had recently moved from our ward was hit and killed as he rode his bike. I believe he was 19, and had autism.

I really, like Lara, love your thoughts on this.

Heather | May 4, 2010 at 5:46 AM

My heart aches for his family. I think that if I die early, I will be upset to miss out on raising my kids. Then I think that is prideful, so I will be entering the next life with the wrong attitude.

Connie | May 4, 2010 at 7:30 AM

Beautiful thoughts. It is a time to reflect when a friend dies.
Gorgeous pictures too!

Bossy Betty | May 4, 2010 at 8:22 AM

A loss like this that happens suddenly to a contemporary is always a shock and a wake-up call to our systems. Puts things in perspective doesn't it.

My thoughts are with you and your husband....

Erin | May 4, 2010 at 8:46 AM

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

And also, I love how you are both learning different things from this difficult time. It's so interesting to see how our minds work in these little ways, teaching us small things that we need to learn.

(I don't know if that makes ANY sense, because it does in my mind, but it didn't seem to come out right. Sorry if I'm confusing you.)

Heidi Ashworth | May 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM

I'm so sorry! What a tragedy. It certainly hits home a lot harder when it is someone in similar circumstances. We had the same thing happen--a friend who died of blood clot to the brain while exercising, little kids the age of ours . . . it's just so tragic and hard to find any good in any of it. But your reflections are comforting.

becca | May 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Amazing how we find different things we need to complete, when something like this happens. Maybe it's a man-woman thing, but we do find distinct things we "need" - to connect, to teach, to respond, to insure.

Rachel Cotterill | May 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

These things always make you stop and think, don't they? Very sad.

The Crash Test Dummy | May 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

That was beautiful. I lubbed the photographs too. I bet that is what the inside of your head looks like! I'm with you. Would my kids know how much I LUB them? And God?

One of my favorite quotes is from Tim O'Brien. "You're never fully alive until you're almost dead."

Valerie | May 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Those pictures are beautiful!
Beautiful thoughts for expressing tender feelings.
Thanks so much!

Marianne | May 4, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Sad times. Hugs to you and Gid from both of us!!

Kimberly | May 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Oh the sweetness of that eternal perspective. Once again you bring me a timely reminder and my life looks a little more...doable somehow.

Luann | May 10, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I love that you used photos of a tree in spring bloom to accompany these thoughts.