Thank You

The last few days have been emotionally stimulating. A realization of death, a celebration of a birth day, and gratitude for the privilege of celebrating the birth instead of grieving death. 

Someone died, whom I never met, on Saturday. She was a speaker and author. A ruckus maker. The last blog post she authored on her website was about death. She tweeted about the flu and remarked it was rough. She tweeted again lamenting she was missing out on the Game of Thrones reveal because she was in the hospital. Weeks later, no more tweets, than her husband posted updates, she died. She is 37, has 2 children. Babies that are so young they will not remember her as they age. This struck me in a terribly sad way, not for her, but for those she left behind. They all will struggle, suffer, ask why. People will say well intended silly things to make them feel better. There is no way to make this better. It is going to suck for days, and those days will morph into years. The pain will slowly become bearable and they will navigate into a new life. 

We celebrated a birth day on Sunday. I knew him well. He is 36, no children, and just beginning anew. It feels somewhat miraculous that I had the honor to wish this sweet soul a Happy Birthday. He has a history, a past that triumphs death. There was a time where I told myself I needed to prepare mentally for the 'call'. A time where I answered every call from a unknown phone number, fearing it might be someone calling to tell sad news. Strangers contacted me ... "We are concerned, we thought you should know". I expected and rejected all in the same thought. I told myself it would be okay, because he would be better off on the other side of death, than living in this hell on his earth. I didn't give up, I relinquished my wishes to something bigger than me. Of course, I wanted his presence to remain on earth, but not this way. Then the bottom came, soon enough, it was gracious and gave new life. And we are celebrating. There are no adequate words to portray my gratitude for the honor, the blessed state I feel, to be able to celebrate this day of birth. 

Somehow walking this path has made life and death and birth and celebrating, all tumble into the mixed bag of living. Being temporarily human. Acknowledging our lack of control. Embracing the chaos and being enveloped by pieces of peace. All of it, beautiful gifts served up to us disguised as a 'moment', regardless of our choice to be present for it. 

Today is Monday, and I awake grateful, to be alive. Alive and not carrying the burden of grief. Some are. I am not. And for that, I just have to whisper Thank You, over and over it tumbles out of my mouth. Thank you. 

Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash