As I was laying in bed last Friday night/Saturday morning, wide awake, playing on Twitter and Facebook, I learned that a young man I went to high school with had just passed away. "Just" as in, 1 hour before I woke up. "Just" as in, 28-years-old, with a wife and three children and did I say 28-years-old? Massive seizure, bleeding on the brain, nothing they could do. 28-years-old.
I stared blankly at my phone, trying to understand something that I probably never will. I wasn't "best friends" with Rusty. We didn't "hang out". But I graduated with 76 people. We knew each other. We knew about each other's families and siblings and plans after high school. When I was in the sixth grade, Rusty is the one who told me (in the middle of Mr. Burnett's 5th period science class) that Brandon didn't want to be my boyfriend anymore (I didn't hold that against him, I didn't want to be Brandon's girlfriend anymore anyhow). (I recall a lot of details of this breakup because I'm a detail oriented person. Not because it was the end of the world for the 12-year-old me. Ahem.)
So I closed out the Facebook application, and opened Twitter. Pregnancy insomnia, infants, and sick babies of all ages had many of my friends awake at 4am. It was comical that so many of us were online at the same time, chatting away, and then ALL OF A SUDDEN, Megan's water breaks. And she's off to have a baby.
And I just laid there and cried. Rusty died. Megan had a baby. Life. A big circle. It happens.
I don't get it. But, it is. It just, is.
I'm not going to get all Elton John/Lion King on you, but the Circle of Life? Yeah.
"Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round"
Knowing that it's all "part of life" doesn't make death easier. The grief is still overwhelming, from my uncle to my FIL to this man I spent so many hours a day/week/year with. My grief for him is real, while not as intense as that of my family members. But I also grieve for his young wife and 3 young children.
No one thinks that their "mid-life" is 14 or 21 or 29. And yet, in the past 2 months, I've seen it. I don't know if I've hit my "mid-life", passed my "mid-life", or am years away from my "mid-life". But what I DO know is that I don't want to waste a single day. Because not one is granted, not one is promised.
Are you living like you're dying? I think we should do it together. I think it will set us free.
"So if your life flashed before you, What would you wish you would've done?
Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying" ~ Kris Allen, Live Like We're Dying