On Death

May 20, 2009

Death is a strange thing. I mean obviously it’s not terribly random; our cells are programmed to terminate at some point so we know it’s going to happen… But we never actually think about it happening, do we? It always seems so sudden — Yes I am aware that on occasion it is sudden, but I’m not talking about a car accident or a drive by or something that is not generally considered natural — and yet… it really should not be all that unexpected. People get old, and people die. This is a natural course of life and one you would think we’d be used to by now. But that’s not really how we work is it? We fight to prolong life constantly. Anti-aging cream, Bo-tox, vitamin supplements, artificial organs, heart lung machines… We refuse to accept the inevitable.

But that’s really not what I’m trying to go for here… I apologize, I tend to get side tracked.

What I’m trying to talk about is how we are always surprised by someone’s passing. It’s always a shock, like it never actually crossed our minds they could die, that they wouldn’t be there anymore. When my great grandmother died I felt… well a mix of a lot of things really. There was a lot of anger at my Mother who did not tell me my great grandmother was in the hospital, and maybe I’d like to say my last good-byes as her condition had been deteriorating rapidly. I wasn’t asked to help spread her ashes, nor was I ever really invited to the funeral. I found out by accident and confronted them. Amazing how that goes :P.

And now I put my anger aside.

For the past several years my Great Grandmother had not been in a good way. Despite being Jehova’s witness she never failed to send me $50 on my Birthday, and $50 at Christmas. NEVER. And still hadn’t forgotten to mail her cheques right up until she passed… however Birthday money had started to come three or four times a year (no, I didn’t cash the cheques) and she had forgotten my name almost completely. When I talked to her some times there was just this vague understanding that she knew who I was. I saw her at my cousin’s wedding — A good day for her praise the Lord — and while she looked beautiful in her white dress and her pearl necklace… I could see she was getting frail… But it never once crossed my mind that she’d die.

I mean, I knew she was getting older, I knew her diabetes was going to shorten her life and that her passing would probably be soon… I knew the players, I knew what was coming but it never crossed my mind it would happen.

I found out today that a friend, a mentor, and my first customer as a self employed business person passed away about a month ago. The last I had heard from him and his wife, they were in Mexico, enjoying their snowbird home and finally managing to get a real honest to goodness Internet connection set up. Also the cell phone company ripped them off again, could I help them sort that out?

They were — are — both amazing people. They were instrumental in getting my business off the ground through the encouragement they offered and the advice they gave. I was relatively shocked to receive the phone call this morning from his wife because I was under the impression they wouldn’t be back until late June early July. The news was jolting. She didn’t want to go into details over the phone, and even if she had I’m not sure if I’d feel terribly comfortable discussing what happened here. That’s not to say I don’t love and adore all 12 of my anonymous IP addresses, but there are some things I think it better not to discuss.

What I will ask is that you pray for his wife who survives him, and their newly engaged son. Pray that God would send down angels and have a hand on them during this time. For now I offer my own.

May God send a fleet of Angels on gilded wings to see you home safely.