Death and birth. Joy and sorrow. A beautiful cycle so very full and intermingling. And so it goes.Ah, but it's easier to see the beauty in the cycle when the death comes at the end of a long, full life.
In early December 2007, Henry was getting poised for discharge, and my friend Amy's dad died. Even for him, the end was too soon, but when I went to the wake, her mom told me she had been thinking about the circle of life, her husband passing and Henry on the upswing. Weeks later, when she came to Henry's funeral, all I could think was that they weren't both supposed to go, that Henry was just starting his go round.
I am not unsympathetic to this woman who just lost her grandmother. It is only in the last few years that I have realized my own grandmother is mortal. She is still going strong at 94. She has been slowly slowing down, but she still amazes me. In such a life, I can see the cycle as it should be, the sorrow still coming with the end, yet the knowledge that a life was fully lived.
Maybe Henry's life was fully lived. Maybe he did all he was meant to do. But I think of how much he never did, will never get to do. I think of what I will never do with him, never see him do, and it feels incomplete.
Death, birth, joy, sorrow.
And so it goes.