Mark and I had a long conversation about Big Dan. He was Mark’s age and it has really hit Mark hard that he’s gone. The night we got the call Mark didn’t sleep at all. Heart disease and strokes run in his family. All of his family dies pretty suddenly from those types of issues. He spent a sleepless night pondering whether it’s better (as better as dying can be) to have a prolonged illness or go in the blink of an eye like his family history tends towards. I said that for me, I’d rather go quickly and have no suffering. He said, “But you don’t have time to say goodbye to everyone.” The only response I can come up with to that is to make sure that the people close to you know that you love them. Don’t let the days slip by without telling people how important they are to you. What they have meant to you. How much you’ve enjoyed their company.
I think that Mark and I are both pretty good at making sure that our kids and friends know that we love and cherish them. But for him, that’s not enough. He feels this strong need to be able to say goodbye. I don’t really know how to help him with that. He is pretty focused on his own mortality at the moment. When our friend, Dale, was battling cancer a couple of years ago he went through the same thing. Dale survived his cancer. But it still gave us pause. I don’t think that’s really out of the ordinary…human nature being what it is.
This coming up weekend is Memorial Day. Our little group off the grid will have our traditional get together. It will do all of us good to be with each other. To hold each other. To provide comfort for each other. To make sure that they all know how we feel about them individually and as a group. It will be healing. I think Mark will feel better after spending the weekend with others who are undoubtedly having some of the same thoughts and conversations that we’ve been having.
Life if short, folks. Live it to the fullest!