We received the shocking news this morning that a friend from church had passed away a few days ago. He was only 62. His death was supposedly quick and painless, so it was probably a stroke or heart attack in his sleep.
My husband just spoke with Mike a week ago. He was his normal ruddy and jovial self at the time.
Even in my 20's and 30's I would have thought that 62 was an early death. Now that I'm in my late 40's I REALLY think it is.
The picture of Mike on the memorial site is relatively current. I didn't even know he was in his 60's. He was so vibrant and healthful, I always assumed he was in his early 50's.
I refuse to change my way of thinking. I will continue to be stunned by the deaths of friends and loved ones, regardless of their age, especially if they seem vibrant and healthy.
My own mother passed away at the age of 67 a little over twelve years ago. That wasn't too shocking. She had been a lifelong smoker and died from a quickly metastasized lung cancer. It was difficult, but I had a few weeks to get used to the idea that she was going to die.
I'm not sure which is better for the survivors, a period of getting used to the idea with time to say goodbye, or a sudden loss. Similarly, for the dying is it better to get a chance to say goodbye or to live your life fully and healthily up to the last moment, with no warning.
I guess it's not important to consider, since we really have little control over when death occurs. I suppose it is best to live life to the fullest and let people know that you care about them. Sometimes Death sends you non-refundable tickets in advance, sometimes he just shows up with the limo. (Pardon the irreverence, it's just how I'm wired.)
To all my friends out there, know that you are in my thoughts more often than I could possibly let you know (without coming across as a weirdo stalker). *HUGS*