Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grieving Together

We had planned to gather with friends before we knew that we would need to do some grieving together.  I am so grateful for the fact that we could be together.

On Friday, we got the news that our former department chair had died; for my tribute to her, please head over to this blog post.  But Friday was already a full day, what with a quick trip to Orlando for a Board meeting and then back the same day for VBS.

By yesterday the news was sinking in, and my usual cheery, optimistic self was starting to droop.  I felt like railing against God:  "Carpe diem, carpe diem--right, got it.  I may not have as much time left as I thought.  Message received loud and clear.  Now quit smiting the people I love!"

I've read the book of Job.  I realize the ridiculous nature of my response.  But in the interest of honesty, I admit to this feeling.

We got together with friends that afternoon.  We talked about the fact that our former department chair had hired us all.  We would likely never have met, if not for her. 

We talked about her marvelous laugh.  We talked about the quilting that we had done.  We talked about the miraculous way that she had wanted to move to Virginia, and she had made it happen.

It was good to be with people who had known her and remembered.  I anticipate a few more gatherings like that.

As the day ended, the talk turned to how quickly life zooms by.  One of my friends said, "I just didn't think it would go this fast.  You work and work to get to certain points and then, boom, it's over."

My friends are atheists, so we didn't talk about what happens next.  Is it over?

I am trying to take the larger reminder.  My former department chair was only 12 years older than I am.  I like to think that I have decades to do the things I want to do, but I may not.  It could all come crashing to a halt much sooner than I'm anticipating.

Time to prioritize.  Life is too short for much of the angst that I let swamp me occasionally.  Life is too short to keep procrastinating on some of my writing projects--back to the memoir!  Life is short--I must make time for quality interactions with humans each and every day. 

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