The husband of one of my Facebook friends passed away this last week from a sudden heart attack. Death happens. It’s an inevitable part of life that we’re known to understand from the very beginning. But when it happens so quickly, it’s a really hard truth to swallow.
In the case of my FB friend (who I don’t know IRL, but have met through my writing), both she and her husband just celebrated their retirement. Both are teachers, and judging by comments made from students and parents alike, they’re dedicated to what they do. They have two sons, one who graduated from college last year, the other just last week. And after so many years of work, this past week was supposed to be the first of many years of relaxation in their joint retirement.
It was their first, and last.
While I don’t personally know this woman, my heart is so heavy for her as she prepares for a memorial for her husband instead of celebrating with him in a time well earned. And as my own life feels incredibly blessed, I can’t help but feel afraid that I, too, could have something this tragic happen to take it all away.
It’s funny (or not really, maybe just strange), there was a time when I didn’t care about death. Let it come. Life is so hard, and maybe with death things will be easy. But now? Life is good. It’s more than good. And if I think about it too hard, I become fearful that my life will end too early, my children’s and Mr W’s life will come to an end, that God’s purpose and my purpose for life is drastically different, and he’ll take me or the people I love before we’re finished with what we intend to do on earth.
In the end, life goes on with or without us. And what we do in our lives will determine the mark we leave after we’ve gone. This man touched the lives of many in his teachings and surf-easy lifestyle. He also lived his life knowing he had a limited timeframe to do it in, aware that his heart disease might take him early. So he lived his life to the fullest.
Am I living my life to the fullest?
Sometimes that answer is ‘yes’. Many times, however, it’s ‘no’. There are things that I keep putting off that I want to accomplish, claiming I just don’t have time. And yet, there are things taking up my time that don’t qualify as worthwhile. While I am watching TV or playing on my phone, I could be talking with a friend, spending time with my kids, or editing my book.
Because time is precious.
I am sad for this woman and how suddenly life has changed for her. And I hope the memories of a fulfilling life with her husband will carry her through. But I find hope and inspiration in just the mere glimpse I received of his life to ride the wave upon a life worth living.
Go with God, Sandy Kronick.