Life well lived

Recently, I was notified of the death of a cousin.

on his day off…while sea kayaking…which he loved

He was only 33.

Far too young for me to comprehend him being done with this life.

In the time that has followed I have felt my heart aching.

I ache not for myself. Truly I did not know him as well now, as I did 15 years ago,

Although I remember well who he was when he was just entering the teen years, it certainly was not who he was at 33.

My heart aches for those who are left behind who now have to face life as they never imagined.

His mother.  She was looking forward to spending retirement spoiling her grandchildren when she visited her son.

His younger sister.  Suddenly thrust into the role of being the pillar of the family, left to do all the things that must be done as her mother is lost in grief.  She, herself quite bereft as her life-long partner in crime is no longer there to laugh and plan shenanigans with her.

His young widow. Married less than 5 years who now has to face parenting solo,

His 2 year-old son who was the light of his father’s life who likely will never remember him.

His Father. Grieving this hole in his heart and life, and unsure of what legacy means.

His older brother. Who always wondered if they would ever be good friends …well that is now also lost.

The Cousins near his same age, questioning what they expect to be true for their own lives.

His unit. Prepared to die on assignment, in battle… but on a day off? WTH?

The hundreds of nameless faces in the church with tears running down them. Taking comfort in their God and the afterlife? Or wondering what kind of God rips lives apart like that?

As I watched the videos of his life, one taken just 24 hours before he died, my own tears flowed. Selfishly grateful to have my husband next to me holding my hand in comfort against that Aching.

He had a life well lived.

Listening to memories people share. I marveled at how much he had lived in such a short time. All that he had created and experienced.

(and still the aching, the yearning. There is always more to see, do, share… potential remaining forever unfulfilled)

Life often does that to us, we make plans, have visions for the future, and then people and circumstances are removed that we could never imagine not being there. It makes us ache.

Life also has a way of adding in things we could never imagine on our own.

People and circumstances that we would never have guessed would bring us the joy we encounter.

Life is full of moments, and momentum.

Like a drop of rain disturbing a pond, ripples that move out intersecting with other ripples, changing more than the surface appearance, every moment changes us deep in our core.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be see or even touched.

They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

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