Gone Too Soon?


Life sometimes comes at you full force and hits you in the face.  I feel a little bit like that lately and today’s post may be more for me than for any of my readers .  Sometimes it just helps me to put it down on paper.  Or in this case—on screen.

I had it all planned out—a nice little early birthday vacation get away for my mom.  We were going to go spend a few days together, see a show, stay at a nice hotel and eat yummy food.  Plane ticket bought, hotel booked, show booked, routes mapped out. Then plans changed. And it was okay because I was still able to spend time with my mom.  Her first cousin passed away and instead of going on an adventure we went to a visitation and funeral service for a 90 year old woman who had lived a full and complete life.  I met cousins that I didn’t know I had and it was pretty wonderful to be able to meet some of these people that either I had never met or it had been years since we had seen each other.

I came home and found out about another death. This time it was the brother of the girl who takes care of our kitties when we travel.  I had never met him but I felt like I had since I know his sister and mom so well. it was totally unexpected and a shock.  He was only 24, our own son’s age, and it hit me hard.  I can not get it off my mind. We just got back from visitation and the place was packed with friends and family who were in various stages of shock and disbelief.  His parents and sister and brother oscillated between smiles and tears as folks filed through and gazed upon the pictures and memorabilia related to this young man who is gone too soon.

How do I reconcile the different emotions that I am feeling?  When a 90 year old dies you say “they lived a long good life”.  When a 24 year old dies you say “they are gone too soon” .  In both cases a hole is left in the hearts of the loved ones.  Each life is precious.  The 90 year touched many lives over her long life.  The 24 year had only just begun his journey in this thing called life and yet, he also had touched many lives.  Do I even pretend to understand why he died at such a young age?  No.  I can’t.  What I do want to do is remember that life is precious and unpredictable.  We live in an imperfect world and try as we may there will always be things that we just do not understand.  All we can do is take each day and recognize it for the gift that it is and be grateful that we have this day to be with those that we love.   In November we often focus on thankfulness and our blessings—why don’t you list one of yours below in the comments?  I would love to hear them all today—it would help cancel out some of the sadness in my heart.

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Comments

  1. Oh, Beth Ann, it’s just keeps coming doesn’t it? It’s so sad when you hear about someone dying so young. I’m thankful every day for my own children and their hugs and giggles. Without that I sometimes wonder how I would make it through the day!

    • Your children are indeed something to be so thankful for! They are the brightness in the day and I know what a great mom you are!! Thanks for commenting!

  2. as you might know, my husband is a cop. this morning, he returned home safe. just like he has for the past 12 years despite what he faces each night. A blessing for which myself, and our children are most thankful and grateful. there are little miracles around us every day – perhaps we sometimes give the credit elsewhere, than God.
    Sadly, time and chance will happen to us all. All we can do is make the best of the time we have.

    • Very true words. And thank you to your police officer husband who does a sometimes impossible job and sees things that no one should see. I am grateful that he came home to you this morning also!!! 🙂

  3. Oh, I’m so sorry about all of this, Beth Ann. I recently found out about a death, well after the fact, of someone I knew long ago and had always imagined alive and well. It hit me hard–a direct hit in the very gut of me. It hit me in the marrow of my bones. It hurt. I’m so sorry about all of this, my freind.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Thank you, Kathy. It is hard to understand sometimes why things happen like they do but in the end what I saw at visitation yesterday were a lot of people who had been touched by this young man and his life and my prayer is that they will carry his spirit and memory and what he stood for with them. Sorry for your sadness, too. Hugs back to you.

  4. Beth Ann, I am so sorry that you must endure such sadness. If this helps at all, allow me to share a story from a funeral we recently attended. Friends of ours lost their 39-year-old daughter to colon cancer. She was a teacher at our Christian day school and the church was overflowing with those who loved her, including students who sang.

    Anyway, this is not about the students but about the young man who sang The Lord’s Prayer. At the end of the prayer, when he had soared his voice to the heavens with such power that you could feel the presence of God, he locked eyes with the mourning parents, his face broke into a huge smile and he nodded his head in a strong and affirmative AMEN. It is probably the most impressionable moment I’ve ever experienced at a funeral. To know that death is not the final statement, that we are blessed with eternal life eases the grief.

  5. I am most thankful that God has seen fit to shelter me from the effects of hate, and that He has given me the love of family to fortify me, through this process, that is life..

  6. Love and prayers.

  7. Young death always puzzles me & I wonder what plan is in effect when it happens. Hopefully, we can honor the person no matter how much time they spent with us.

    • I agree and in this young man’s case I think many held him in high esteem and he touched many lives with his life. It still is hard to understand and accept.

  8. I have only heard of visitations from the books I read and no occasionally from blogs and bloggers. We don’t have them here and I wonder at the comfort they must give to the bereaved. And my gratitude for the life and family I have knows no bounds.

    • I think having a time when friends and family can gather together to celebrate memories of their loved one is a really vital part of the grief process. In this case, especially, it was wonderful to see pictures and items that were on display that were important and a significant part of this young man’s life. I love your gratitude—-I agree fullheartedly! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Sorry to hear of these losses, and the heartache they bring. I am thankful every morning that I awaken to a new day, and for the loved ones God has placed in my life.

  10. I am so thankful for my wonderful family and I cannot imagine what it must feel like when they die before the parents. I have lost several of my very best friends and I am looking forward to seeing them again in better place. Heaven. My prayers will include this young man and his family.

  11. Yes, we all have to die, but hopefully after a lot of years of a well-lived life. It’s simply tragic when someone has so few years on this planet. I have told Mark that if I died suddenly, I have lived a great life with supportive parents, a loving husband, and wonderful children. I’m grateful for all of that.

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