This morning I woke up to receive the not-entirely-unexpected news that my uncle and godfather had died. My first thought was relief that his recent years of suffering were finally over. I was also joyous that he and his beloved wife who died years ago are reunited. He hated what his physical existence had been reduced to – mostly immobile, completely dependent. It was no kind of life for him.
Later in the morning I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Free Range Kids. Today’s post is, as the blog’s author says, just about the most important one to date. It’s a letter from a mother written in the fresh grief following the sudden and shocking death of her 9 year old daughter. She was experiencing the most intense pain imaginable, yet was clinging to the knowledge that she’d let her daughter really live in her short 9 years. It’s such a gorgeous letter, and I hope you’ll click the above link and read it.
The connection I’m making between these two things today is an important one for me. For the past two years ago, I’ve been feeling increasingly stuck and frustrated in just about every aspect of my life. Through infertility, miscarriage, depression, work burn-out, marriage ups and downs, and everything else… I haven’t felt clear-headed in a while. And the sum total of what’s been going on has resulted in a lot of apathy. Whether we suddenly drop dead at age 9 or slowly waste away at age 77, we should be able to say we really lived. And I’m not sure I can.
No more. I’m thirty-five tomorrow. Time to live.