I attended a funeral service last night.
Had planned on attending the memorial service this afternoon but decided last minute I needed to go to the funeral service first.
I'm so glad I did.
It was for a mom of three children, all under the age of five. She was battling brain cancer and had been cleared from her doctor as "all good" just Thursday.
She died Saturday of an undetected blood clot.
I don't tell you this to depress you. I tell you this so I can understand whythefreak things like this go on in a world that seems to otherwise make pretty good sense.
I ran into this mom two weeks ago at the kids' preschool. Wrapped my arms around her shoulders and whispered "I'm so glad to see you." By her smile I could see she knew I really meant it.
Two weeks later I'm staring at a slideshow of her life in a funeral home filled with forced smiles and wet eyes.
How is that even possible?
Our boys were friends in preschool last year. They played together with another little boy every other day. I knew his mom was sick last year and often prayed for her to a place I hope has powers stronger than I can imagine. I even wrote about it here but didn't publish.
She was so sick last year. But two Tuesdays ago? Not at all. I mean, not one speck of it filled her vibrant face and hopeful smile.
Why wait until she's so healthy just to take her away?
Why give her husband, her sweet gentle giant of a husband, the dream of more anniversaries, birthdays, Saturday mornings, an entire lifetime of summer family vacations just to have it all come to a horrible sudden crashing stop.
Just like that, she is no longer here to strap her kids in their carseats.
She's not here to choose or not choose a hot lunch for her son who starts kindergarten in the fall.
She's not here to hug her mom on Christmas.
She's not here to yell at her husband for coming home late when the kids are sick.
She's not here.
She's not here.
She's not %*#& here.
It infuriates me.
I stood and shook and shook like a disturbed volcano in the hallway of my kids' preschool when my friend gave me the news. I was shocked and so angry at the fact that she didn't even get to know what happened. All the preparing and knowledge of someone's passing doesn't make it easier but somehow, when kids are involved, it seems like it is the better option. She didn't even get to say goodbye.
Then I stewed on that for a while and thought, why would that be better?
We are the ones to build fairness into the equation. That's not at all what the world gives us. It's what we do in reaction to the world around us so we don't bump elbows or nuclear powers.
We organize time in minutes, hours, years, calendar pages to make sense of all the given chaos. These intangible files we make to organize memories are not given to us by the universe, and certainly not God. It's our own human language. In that respect, of course our system is flawed.
The way people die may seem inconceivably hard to process through a person's perspective but maybe, just maybe we are meant to squander in the limits of our own imaginations because the alternative is our reward. What happens when our bodies expire and our energies rise is beyond beautiful, amazing, open, immense, awe-inspiring, and too grand for our pattern of earthly thought to comprehend.
Or we witness nothing, are stopped completely, and dissolve into an air and space continuum like the steam above a hot spring.
Because energy doesn't just go away, I believe in the former. We will see when we get there what all the fuss is about.
It has to be.
Today I am keeping Grayson home from school.
For no other reason than to spend time with him and with Abby.
Time discovering clouds that look like Abe Lincoln pass over our heads.
Time finding tree fairies hanging out in the woods.
Time watching her watch him.
And when the shadows become larger than the sun?
We will try to work that to our advantage too.