Acknowledging the grace of this life

I’ve had two of my good friends lose a parent in the last month. One lost a mother unexpectedly to complications of the flu. The other lost his dad today, after a more than 3-year battle with cancer. His note to me was beautiful.  I pretty much tear up every time I read it.

“RIP Dad. Was so nice though. My brother and I at his bedside holding his hands. He started having labored breathing and unresponsive. I told him that my brother and I were both here and that it’s ok to go. He raised his eyebrows, opened his eyes, looked at both of us then took 2 deep breaths and passed. It was so strange…he was definitely holding on for that moment. I feel so lucky”

We are all so lucky to acknowledge the grace of this life. I lost my dad to cancer in October of 1991, he was 46 and I was 17.  I’m now 43 and I can’t imagine that he only had 46 years on this planet.  It weighs heavy on me.

One of the favorite things I heard when my own father died was from a school vice-principal, David Parker. He had just lost his own mother. He said that while you may be sad today and can’t see past the feeling of loss, you’ll come to realize how lucky you were to have him at all. That has become very true for me. I miss my Dad often (and still have a giant hole there) but I know how lucky I was to have him.

None of us can control how long we have on this planet. We all try to bend the odds or do our best to ignore the fact that we all have a certain ending. The passing of my friends’ parents has reminded me that we all need to face that end and live our lives every day in appreciation for the grace of this life.

Sending love, especially to my two old friends.