Sometimes I'm forced to think about all of the people I've lost in the past couple of years. While I don't consider myself to be old enough to go through this, I seem to be starting to see death as an unwanted companion.
For the last two years people who have mattered to me have passed away one by one. First my Father... then my Uncle Victor, who was everyone's favorite uncle.. you know, the funny one who's good at telling jokes. Then my Uncle Frank. He was the talker the one who loved people and the one who always tried to be everyone's friend.
Perhaps the hardest blow recently to me, personally, was the death of my closest friend Jason Withers. He died of a stroke last year in December because of a piece of plaque that had formed in one of his arteries. That's a very cold and clinical description, but one I've come to accept. Jason was closer to me than a brother and I think of him often. He and I used to have a sarcastic humor together that only comes when you've known someone for many many years.
The most recent is my brother in law, Shawn. He passed away last night. He was a close friend. He suffered from cancer and fought it until the end. My sister loved him very much and she is extremely distraught over his death and, yet, I feel cold. Death has visited my family way too often in the last few years... Death is like an old friend whom you're at first surprised to see, but then becomes someone you know all too well.
I know that the emotions will come... that the tears will come... and that, soon, our pain will be done.
The one thing that all of this stresses is the importance of life. Death is the one thing that comes to us all in time. While love may elude us... death is certain. It's important to tell those that you love... that you love them without question. Because he may be at your doorstep, or theirs much sooner than either of you anticipate.
Sincerely, Greg C.