My friend Phil died yesterday. He was only in his early 40's. LM called me with the news last night. Dying sucks. Period. No matter when or how or who, it just sucks on a scale so ridiculous that we're left with no other choice than to run from it. He left behind a darling wife and a son as well as a family that is devastated. This comes on the heels of a terrible shooting here that left 5 people dead. I remember thinking how awful it must have been for the families to have gotten that call that your loved one was suddenly taken from you. A dear friend I used to work with had this happen with her father. He had a heart attack and died. Just like that. Just like Phil. She didn't get to say goodbye and she is left holding on to the last moments she had with him. I'm sure that Phil's wife is feeling the same way and my heart breaks for her. I can't even begin to imagine that happening to Jeff nor can I conceive of how I would even begin to deal with it.
Liz and I were discussing how as we get older, we have begun to worry more about this kind of stuff. We worry that we'll get a disease or that someone we love will or someone will have an accident or whatever and how will we make it without them? I lost my grandma about 18 mos. ago, and I had been preparing myself for that moment since I was 10 but it didn't make it easier. And I even got to say goodbye. Is this what getting older means? My grandma used to read the obituaries every day because she said that at her age, this is how she kept up with her friends. We used to laugh about it but it was kind of true. I never feel my age (3 weeks to 34, for the record. And I do like presents.) until something like this happens and suddenly you're clutching to every minute you have. Death makes you take a cold hard look at life. It makes you realize how life moves along so incredibly quickly that we fall in and out of touch with people before we know it. Even people you were close to. Phil and I were close for a period of time, but as it happens, situations change and people change and next thing you know, you've lost touch. That's how I felt last night. I immediately remembered the nights me and LM and Phil would go out to listen to "Double Dutch Bus" and dance and we had such a good time. Then I remembered that the last time I saw him, which was just a few weeks ago, I only said hello and goodbye. It's hard to stay in touch sometimes and I think it's a natural progression to move on as we grow and change. Change is a double edge sword. Life is nothing without change, good or bad, but it does take it's victims. I'm thankful every day that I have the friends I have because I know that even though I'll meet people along the way at school or work or whatever, they'll probably fade away in time, but I know that I will always have my true friends with me and I love them for that. Phil's wife is now surrounded with all of their friends so she can feel his spirit through them and their memories and I think it's a lovely thing. I think today is a good time to look around and be thankful for those people that are still with us, through this long haul called life and hold them close, even if it's only for today.
We'll miss you, Phil.