Death seems to be all around me this past week or two.
Last week I received news that one of our employees had died suddenly. Johnny had worked for us for over 17 years and was a great employee. Moreover, he was a great guy. Just a decent man that rarely complained or spoke ill of anyone. He was the kind of guy you just like to spend time around. Quiet and unassuming even though he was well over six foot and could be an ominous presents. Johnny was also one of those guys that had to be dragged to the doctor kicking and screaming. Unfortunately, Johnny had lung cancer and didn’t even know it. He got this news just a week before his lungs filled with fluid and his body gave up. I got this news via a text message while I was actually at another funeral. The father of another employee had died just as suddenly from heart failure. Two funerals in less than a week…
Now I get word that the father of a dear friend is about to lose his battle with a failing body. Possibly days or just hours from now he will quietly end his life of 80 years and leave behind a grieving family.
My heart breaks for the ones that are and will be left behind. I wish to comfort them but know from my own experience that no matter what I say, it will not help them. Meer words just have no volume at times like this. In fact words are so insufficient at times like these I tend to just shut down and not say anything. Instead I prefer to just have a physical presence and be prepared to act when called on. I prefer to speak with my actions and offer a silent hug of reassurance. I prefer this over saying anything that will tend to do no good or worse cause unintended offence.
I continue to become more pragmatic on the subject of death. After all, it’s inevitably something that will happen to all of us sooner or later. Eventually each and every one of use will go. Some too soon and some not soon enough. Some of us will have far too short a time here and some of us will have more than our share of time here. Some of us will go due to what may seem a tragic and unfair reason and some of us will go due simply to the passing of time and natural reasons. Still, no matter why or when, I consider them to be the lucky ones. Because, while my heart breaks for those left behind, they will soon be in a better place joining loved ones that have already move on to be with the Father.
As I prepare myself for this imminent funeral I can’t help but think about how long the road of grief has been for me. My prayer is that this family will quickly recover and remember with great affection their loved one.
Tonight I spent a quiet evening putting my tools away. It’s rare that I listen to music in my shop since most of the time it is drowned out by the noise. Tonight I did and spent the night listening to Duffy and emptying boxes. My tools are all organized and now readily available. Now I’m just trying to figure out why a guy needs 9 hammers. Heck, I never even realized I had 9…