I can’t tell you much of anything important.
I can’t tell you why some people die too young, why others live too long and die a slow and painful death, why some people seem to bear more sorrow than others. I can tell you that life is brutal and unfair, but you already knew that, didn’t you?
A good friend’s daughter died last week. She left behind a husband and 7-year-old daughter, two sisters, her mother, three nieces and two nephews. When she was a college student, she babysat for our children, and they were both in her wedding.
In many ways, she was a lucky person — beautiful, charming, smart. In other ways, she struggled. You don’t always see another person’s demons. We’re all so good — too good — at putting on our bright faces and insisting we’re doing well. It’s what we’re expected to do; it’s usually what the rest of the world wants us to do. Who has time for the longer, sadder stories? Who really wants to hear?
She died too soon and left a heartbroken family behind who will think about her the rest of their lives. There is no sense or logic in that; there’s only sadness.
I can only tell you only one good thing. She felt strongly about being an organ donor. Her eyes, her heart and her kidneys were salvaged to help others. This doesn’t make sense out of her tragedy, but it’s a small comfort. Parts of her, like fragments of a bright star, have escaped death and will live on. It’s not nearly enough, but it will have to do.
(Copyright 2010 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Read one of my favorite posts about showing off my scars