Over the last four weeks I’ve dealt with more death in such a short amount of time than I ever thought possible.
I had to put my baby girl, Lucy, down which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. She was my saving grace. (Read: I’m Left In Good Hands).
Four days later, a former player of mine died in a car accident. She was 17 and the starting PG for one of the best basketball teams in the state of Indiana.
Eleven days after her death, one of my oldest friends lost his two year battle to Leukemia. He and I had more history than anyone could ever understand. He would have been 27 on Christmas.
Life’s short, apparently. And we never actually realize it until shit like this happens. We say it all the time, but none of us can really grasp the concept of how short it really is.
So I have to pose the question… Are we truly living to our utmost fullest? If you were told how and when you were going to die, would you live differently?
I can tell you right now, I am not living my life to its utmost fullest. And yes, if I were told how and when, I think I would live differently. But sometimes that’s just not how life goes.
My former player didn’t know she was going to die that day on her way to school. And even though my friend had Leukemia, I’m sure he didn’t know the exact day he would leave this world.
It’s unfortunate we have to experience death in some fashion to try and understand the meaning of life. And even then life goes on and we forget. Until the next death.
But how selfish is that?! Someone has to die or become sick in order for your life to be put in perspective. I bet you, the father of my former player would rather have his daughter back than for us to have a different outlook on life.
Now, I’m not saying I have the answers nor that I even understand the questions I’m asking. But at what point do people stop dying around us? People who have barely lived. How are we supposed to understand that? Or are we?
I talk this big talk about:
What’s meant to be will be.
But let’s be real. When it comes to death, that mantra goes out the window. How is it that a 26 year old newlywed finds out he has Leukemia weeks after his wedding then dies two years later? That’s NOT meant to be.
You’re supposed to be a kid, make stupid decisions, learn from them, grow up a little, make some more stupid decisions, have fun somewhere in there, and continue to grow old. Then it’s your time to go.
But these three weren’t given that chance. Their lives were taken sooner than any of us could have even fathomed. And now we get to sit here and live with it. Live with the reality that a father lost his daughter, a wife lost her husband, and I lost my best friend.
Like I said, I don’t understand it. I don’t think anyone does. But the least we can do is to not forget how this makes us feel, and remember that life is short. Not just today or next week, but truly remember and make choices every day that make us happy. Because in the end, happiness is all we want. Whether we go now or 50 years from now, a happy life, short or long, is the best life lived. And I want to make sure I have that life because I know for certain these three did.
Tell someone you love them today. Hug them. And thank them for how happy they make you.
Life is short, but we can make it a short happy life.
Thinking of you always Lucy, Peytin, and Chris. And I’ll see you shortly.