A sign of old age, among so many, is more and more of the people close to you passing away. It feels like I have been on a run these past few years, and I really really don’t like it. No, really really does not capture it, I hate it. One of my favorite book characters, Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books, who always seems to have wisdom for me says, “After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” He also says, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” Yes, true true, I agree, but this does not make me feel the slightest bit better. In fact, in this case I can better relate with Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore’s rival who says, “There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!” Yes, he’s got it. This is how I feel. Of course, wise old Dumbledore has the response, “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” True, at least I think true, so where does this leave me?
It bothers me a bit when people, usually very old people, say I have lived a good life and I am ready to die. Sometimes people say that he was in such pain that it was a blessing that he died. It is really hard for me under most circumstances to think that these are good things. Life is a wonderful gift and valuable beyond measure. How can people say these kinds of things and mean it? I say this because I might have said something like this to someone to comfort them or agreed with someone, but deep down, I haven’t felt this way. Well, the other day made me rethink this just a bit.
Today, Father called home my friend
One I grew up with
One I have known the longest
One that called me brother
Doesn’t He how it hurts?
Doesn’t He know we had things still to do?
Doesn’t He know the longing to hear your laugh again?
And He has called you to take the next step with your sister and father
And He has asked me to take courage and soon we will embrace again
This week I said goodbye to my friend Marie that I have known longer than any other outside of my family. She lost her battle with cancer and passed on the anniversary of her father’s death 42 years earlier. She was 52 years young. She left behind a husband, six children, two grandchildren, and a mother.