Why are we always so surprised by death? Why does it always seem to catch us off guard?
I guess it’s because we live most of our lives – the day in and day out – as if we’re going to live forever. Not mindful of death. Not willing to acknowledge that all of our days are numbered – and they do come to an end.
I lost an old friend this past week. I say “I lost” because I just learned that he has passed away… about five years ago. He was a few years older than me and left behind a wife and son. They buried him in Arlington National Cemetery. If I had known, if I had been living in this country, I would have gone to his funeral.
The life of an international nomad is strange – we arrive in a foreign land, stay a few years, have many great adventures with special friends, and then we move again. Sometimes those friends get lost and we lose contact. Apparently, sometimes they pass away and somehow the news misses you.
I remember – in the era before smart phones – one of my husband’s close friends came home from a war zone deployment and died in a motorcycle crash. We were on a long vacation and somehow the news never reached us. He missed the funeral. Those in the warrior clan raised a glass without him. It’s strange not to have closure.
This morning I sat and did my regular reading – in Ecclesiastes at the moment. The words of Solomon rang true:
“Death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.” Ecclesiastes 7:2
2 thoughts on “RIP Old Friend”
The writer of Ecclesiastes makes the point “It is better to attend a funeral than a party, for death is the destiny of every person and the living should take this to heart. Mourning is better than laughter because grief makes us wiser. Although the wise embrace sorrow, fools seek only pleasure.”
It sounds to me that you are not one of those who avoids the hard things of life and that wisdom has been your companion.
Sometimes the hard things find us! But yes, I am a truth-teller.