On Life, Death, and Our Kids


Got a call the other night from an old friend- his son had suddenly passed away. The young man had been in reasonably good health but had picked up a medical malady within the last couple of years. Even after corrective surgery, his death was not completely unexpected—surprising to some, but not unexpected. The young man might have seen this as a sign of things to come. Some people catch a glimpse of their own mortality at a very young age and try to cram a lifetime of memories into the short time they have left. Others will see the same revelation as a curse and try to hold back the hands of time and only end up wallowing in a quagmire of self-pity and leave this life with an empty heart and an equally empty soul. But either of these reactions can teach us something about others and something about ourselves. None of us can honestly answer how we would react if and when we were faced with our own mortality; how we would treat ourselves, how we would treat others, and what impact on the world we might choose to leave behind. Your answers would likely be singular in nature, i.e. what would work for you might not necessarily work for your neighbor. Some answers would be simple, some would be fairly complex.

Steven, the young man, loved his family, he loved his job and he had a woman in his life with whom he was madly in love. He loved his friends and he loved life. That’s it. That’s as simple as you can get. But, remember, that which is simple is very rarely understood. Life can’t be that simple. No. No way. Isn’t it up to us to make it as complicated as we possibly can?

When we were kids in Sunday school, we were taught that we each had a mission here on earth and when God saw that the mission was over, we were called back to heaven. That didn’t make sense—it was way too simple. I couldn’t really get my arms around that one but as I grew older I came to accept it until something that made more sense came along. As of this date, in my 60 years, nothing has.

But it goes against the natural order of life that a parent has to bury a child of theirs. That’s wrong. That’s not why we have them. All that we do, we do for our children. Then, we get old, they grow up and it’s up to them to bury us—not the other way around. That’s so backwards. But, sadly, we’ve been burying our children since time began. I was yelling at God about just that the other night. Sometimes, I just say pray, sometimes I like to talk to Him. And sometimes I yell. Now, I’m afraid that He’s checking the ‘caller i.d.’ because I talk (and yell) so much.

What will get most of us through losing a young loved one is the impact that they have had on our lives, that we were blessed because we were able to see the world through their eyes, even if for only a little while. They have touched us in a positive way and they have increased the way that we look at our own landscape. And by their being here, they have helped all of us grow just a little bit more.

There will be tears in the future but his family always liked to laugh a lot and I know that there will be plenty of that. You know, they say that the best gifts are the ones that you share with others. To his parents, I’d like to say thank you for sharing your son with all of us. He was that special gift.

Sadly, at least, that’s the way I see this. Hugs and kisses all around. God bless. MLProko ©2010    www.mikeproko.com

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 4:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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