When applied to someone you know, the words “died unexpectedly” have a unique power to reach into your heart and instantly shred it into a thousand tiny pieces.
Last week we lost a neighbor and friend that we’ve seen almost daily on our block for over a decade. She was my age and always seemed happy and healthy. Her daughter has been friends with my daughter since before kindergarten. She lived almost exactly a block from our house, and her in-laws lived just two doors down from us until a few weeks ago. I am sad for them, sad for us, and sad for our community.
These times double as an unwelcome, but much needed catalyst for self evaluation. Whenever I hear that someone died unexpectedly, it always send me swirling into a period of serious reflection where I ask myself questions such as:
- Am I holding on to stupid shit I need to let go of?
- Am I wasting my time focused on too many shiny, but worthless distractions?
- Am I fully and unconditionally loving the people in my life?
- Am I living the superpowered life I’m REALLY capable of living?
And I am almost never satisfied with my answers.
But that’s why they are such important questions to ask.
P.S. This was a tragic happening, however this was not a close friend of mine. I didn’t even know her “real” name until I read her obituary (she went by a shortened version of her name). I’m sad for sure, but not grieving. No condolences or words of encouragement are needed here. What you can do instead is think about these questions with me and add any thoughts you’d like to below.
P.S.S. Here are some quotes from one of my favorite books, How to Live a Good Life that seem very appropriate to share here.