A few weeks ago someone I was close with in High School passed away suddenly. We were two years apart in school, but spent a lot of time with our group of friends during our years together in Colorguard and Winterguard. Our practices and competitions were intense and the friendships forged were tight. I kept in touch through Facebook, like we all do, mostly watching from afar, so I felt as if I knew her much better than I really did. Truth is we hadn’t spoken since I graduated high school or soon after. I had seen photos of her husband and their quirky text conversations via her screenshot status updates. I knew many of the hilarious things her young daughter had said to her because she shared their conversations on her wall. I followed her quest to run marathons and cheered her through my computer screen. I laughed hysterically as she started adding the hashtag #howtoraiseanerd to the photos of her adorable daughter.
Word spread fast, as it does with Facebook. One person saw that her husband had posted that she was gone and soon the messages and texts started flying around. What happened? Everyone wants to know. Her family has asked for us all to respect their privacy. I don’t know why human nature is to want to know so badly. Do we just need to rationalize that it can’t happen to us, or our children, or our parents? Even though I hadn’t spoken with her in years, I still feel consumed by her loss at times over the last several days. Would I be able to accept it more if I knew how or why? She was an amazing person when I knew her, so bubbly and full of life. She seemed like an amazing mom, friend and wife from everything I’ve seen of her online.
She’s the second from our group of about 25 to pass away. Both were moms of preschool aged kids. Any loss is overwhelming to imagine, but there’s something about the loss of a mom of a young child that hits me hard. Maybe it’s that I can identify with these two women so much. I can see myself in them, I can see my kids in their kids. I can see my husband in their husbands.
After hearing this terrible news, I vowed to hold my children tight, never lose my cool, and give them the perfectly loving mom that we all deserve – the mom that this poor little girl won’t get to have anymore. I vowed to love my husband and make sure he knows it every minute. And the first week since my old friend’s daughter lost her mother? I totally blew it. I had a day alone with my kids and I was annoyed and frustrated 75% of their waking hours. I’ve done nothing but take all my tiredness and frustration out on my undeserving husband. I’m ashamed that my actions have done the opposite of honor my friend and her family’s loss.
I don’t really know what the point of this post is – perhaps just an outlet for some emotions and questions that I can’t seem to reconcile. I’ve not experienced the loss of anyone close to me, in my day to day life. And while I hope I never do, I know that day will come. I guess I just want to stress to you and to myself that we need to just hold each other up and hold each other tight. Parenting is hard and marriage is hard, but we just don’t know how long we have on this earth with these beautiful little innocent creatures. The days are long, but the years are short. This week I will try harder.