I've felt the sting of death too much this week.
My Aunt Frances passed away. She was the youngest of my mom's three siblings, and Mom's only sister. Her very last days were a lot like my mother's: stubborn Irish women who clung to life, but also longed for Heaven.
With my aunt's death, my generation becomes the eldest. Really? That doesn't seem right. We are still kids.
It was good to see my cousins, and it was a good reminder to stay in touch.
Yesterday, we learned that a college friend passed away. It was a stunning piece of news, an untimely and apparently lonely death.
He was a brother, a fraternity brother, but really: a brother. He was quick to laugh, loved a good debate (and he and I had MANY!) and a trusted soul. How could we lose someone so vital, alive?
Today, we've been sharing memories and pictures. Remembering is good but - oh, how I wish we'd been able to be more in touch.
I pray. I pray that we all remember that time is short and life is precious. I see the boys I knew in the faces of my cousins: the boys who taught me to catch a football and throw a punch. My sweet cousin who was my first babysitter. A young man, cigar dangling, with a silly grin that hid a sharp mind.
Death stings. The loss is too keen. A friend reminded me over the weekend that life is too short to miss out on love, to say, "not now," to allow things to pass us by as spectators and not participants.
Good-bye to a funny aunt who taught me to be a strong Irish woman. Good-bye to a man who laughed and cried with me, who was a brother to me when I needed one. And let's us remember that good-byes come swiftly - let us not waste a moment.