Monday, August 1, 2016

When Life (Death) Isn't Fair

We all take this thing called life for granted. We say we're not going to, we say we're going to live in the moment and take life by the horns and all of those other cliche quotes but the truth is, we don't. We let one day roll right in to the next and we assume that things will be the same when we wake up the next day. We assume that we *will* wake up the next day.

People die. It happens, circle of life and all that. I've been to more funerals than I care to think about. I've buried so many my own age, starting before I was even out of middle school. It's never easy, there's never a proper way to say "I'm sorry" to a grieving mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, husband, all feels so hallow. We leave those funerals with a renewed faith that we are going to be different, that starting today no more skipping the ice cream or putting off that trip we swore we would take...and yet, it happens. *LIFE* happens. Life gets in the way of living, which really seems so contradictory but it's true. We can't just do what we want, when we want, because we have obligations and the world does not simply revolve around what we want to do right now. We have other people around that depend on us, that need us to be here with them, we have work that requires us to show up and so we put it off. We say we'll schedule it, we'll plan it, we'll figure it out and then those days turn in to weeks, months, years. If you're reading this you are probably going through your mental checklist of things you thought you'd do and haven't. I'd like to tell you to drop what you're doing and go, just go right now, but I won't. I can't because I would be a fraud. I can't tel you to do something that I know I won't do myself. I know that I'll go through the motions of my life today and tomorrow I will do the same. This life that I am living though, this is good. It's not adventurous or crazy but it's good and it's mine.

Then there something happens and there's a death that just knocks you down. Hits you so hard you're not even sure you can get up. I've watched people battle cancer and fight off diseases only to lose. I've watched as families cry over losing someone they loved dearly to addiction. I've watched as children try to process what is happening and that those people are gone for good. It's sad and it's a terrible feeling of helplessness but there's something expected in those cases. Not that we ever plan on having to bury the ones we love but when there is an outside force involved, even if you don't admit it out loud, you know there is a chance. When someone is living their healthy, beautiful, amazing life one day and the very next they're gone, it's not fair. It's not right. When the choice someone else made to live recklessly leaves a husband without his wife, a son without his step-mom, a father without his daughter and so so many others without their friend...what else can you say? This life...this's not fair. It's not expected, there is no way to prepare our mind, our body, our soul. There's no goodbye, there's no closure.

Sometimes in life we get lucky and we have those people that we know we can count on. We know that no matter what, no matter how often we talk, no matter how many months we go without talking, they'll always be there. They will answer your texts and your calls, they'll find the time to meet you for dinner, and if you need something in the middle of the night they'll answer and ask how they can help. We lost one of those people and while maybe she wasn't my best friend she was by far one of the truest. You knew you'd get a real answer from her, no bullshit answers, no telling you what you want to hear, there was only love, kindness, laughter, smiles, tears and humanity. These real life moments, these are the ones that make you second guess everything. These are the things that make you look at your life and wonder what the fuck is going on and how is this right? How is this fair? Some would say that she is in a better place, that she was needed somewhere else, that she is now looking over us...but what if that's not what we want? What if we'd rather she be watching out for us here? I want to be like her, I want to cry and then find a way to honor her life because that is what she would do for any one of us but right now? Right now I want to be upset, I want to cry and I want to hold the ones I love just a little tighter because it's not okay. It's not right and it's certainly not fair.