A few days ago my husband and I were talking in bed before the start of a new day. The topic turned to that fear of not having control over things like the well being of your child or a loved ones safety. I told my husband how sometimes I’ll be dropping off our daughter at my parents place on my way to work and suddenly get a thought of “what if something happens to her while I’m away”. You know, that realization that any moment something can change. As my husband says, impermanence. And we have no control over it.
Yesterday morning we found out that one of our colleagues and friends had passed away of a heart attack sometime on Monday. The entire day went on like a surreal experience, like you are present yet sort of floating in the air trying to comprehend what you’ve heard. But it doesn’t ever quite process.
We are a small staff of 13 at my work and so we are more like family, and for our colleague John, who was the only male, he often said to us that we were like his sisters and how he had never had this kind of special relationship with women. He was an open book with whoever he met and so you instantly grew to know him well.
Still today I haven’t fully processed the fact that he’s gone. There are moments when I suddenly think, someone needs to call and tell us it was a mistake, that he’s alive still. But he’s not. No one is calling.
It is such a bittersweet end to the year, a reminder of really how valuable each moment is and how important it is to let those we care and love know that we care and love them. It puts into perspective how impermanent anything is and that we sometimes take time with people and relationships with people for granted. And it also reminds me that God is ever present, because I do believe that our friend John is with him now. And rather than think about all that he wasn’t able to accomplish, I think instead of what he achieved and felt so proud of in the last year and a half. It makes me smile to think that he left this world at a time when he had love all around him, when he had fully experienced a huge leap in self worth, and knowing that he made a difference and touched many lives in such a positive way, and that he himself was capable of so much good.
As the day draws to an end and I bid 2014 farewell, I will remember my colleague/friend fondly and pray for healing in the hearts of his wife and family and all of us who were touched by having him in our lives. I will rejoice in the fun memories I shared with John and all my friends at work, and all the beautiful and challenging moments that God brought into my life this year because they are a reminder of the whole beauty of life. I look forward to 2015, the wonder of the new beginnings it may bring and what new adventures and moments of growth have yet to come.