Tuesday, August 05, 2008

So much life

I was just standing outside with Leica on the leash watching the cars zoom by the house. Different cars, different people, all with something going on. The air was heavy with moisture, the grass green, squirrels running for the trees. Life! So much life!

One of the memories of mom's death was the shocking realization that there were just a few of us filled with the sensation of death and loss. The rest of the world was living! And at the worst moments of my days, there were people out there enjoying life, doing things that had absolutely nothing to do with death. It was hard to comprehend since I was mired in grief.

A few weeks after mom's funeral, a young man from our church was killed in a car accident. He had fallen asleep at the wheel and hit a bridge abutment. His family was plunged into grief, death and loss. When I heard about the accident, I was heading out to a movie with some friends and the realization of the sharp contrast between life and death came to me again.

Death happens once in a life, so we tend to anchor it in our memories. For many people the idea of holidays without their loved ones is painful, even for many years after the actual loss. Time is marked by the date of a death. The first Christmas, the first anniversary, the first birthday - all after a death has occurred. And years pass, while not so many dates happen every year, there are some that stand out in our memories. For me, a late spring snowstorm reminds me that in March 1987, we were brought to a standstill by a spring blizzard that occurred the day after mom died. March 27th doesn't get too far into the annals of history without me remembering that was the day that I watched her die. It's been 21 years and I still remember.

But, what about life! While one death occurs in a life, the life is filled with so much more than that! I don't want to focus on the loss of life, but on the exquisite beauty of the life that is lived well! As I stand outside among the chaotic sensations that life brings, I am thankful for a reminder that God is on the move, He is creating, He is filling our lives during every moment of our lives. There is so much life!

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