June 13th, 2008
11:17 am - Sombering news
My dad called me yesterday to tell me that one of my mom's friends passed away this week. No one even knew she was sick.
My mom became friends with her when she was in her 20's. Then they both had daughters at around the same time (one of them being me). I remember that we spent a lot of time with my mom's friend and her daughter when I was little. This same friend would relay all my embarrassing stories to me as I got older. She was always really nice though. As time went by, she'd lose touch with my mom for a while and then resurface whenever she had big news or drama going on. She also helped plan my bridal shower. The last time I saw her was when Eitan turned 6 months old and she brought over a "newborn" gift for him (shows how on and off the scene she was), which was a beautiful blue and white crocheted blanket.
In her passing, she left behind 4 grown children (the oldest is the one my age) and some grandchildren, as well as her 2nd husband. It's sad to think about how quickly this all happened and how young and full of energy she always seemed to be. My husband even thought she was younger than her actual age.
This also made me think of how I need to be better about staying in touch with friends (at least those who want to reciprocate the contact), no matter where I am living. I used to think it was just my grandparents' friends who were dying and now it reaches into the realm of my parents' friends. I've lost acquaintances to death at a young age, but never anyone extremely close. I don't want to, obviously, but death is inevitable and sometimes more sudden than necessary. I would just prefer to wait till it's all about old age and not about sickness, accidents or other unfortunate ways of passing on. Sorry for the morbid talk.
Follow up: I found out the real reason behind my mom's friend's death a couple of days later. However, I don't feel at liberty to post that here in order to protect her family's privacy. I do still have the blanket she made for my older son. He sleeps with it on his bed every night and I think of her whenever I see it there. I remember getting emotional when she gave him the blanket because it reminded me of something my grandma would have made had she still been alive and well.
This post was brought out of hiding because death is something I face on almost a daily basis. Nothing to do with me personally, B"H. For my job, I have to browse the death notices from the Washington Post in order to see if anyone associated with our organization (whether in a big or small way) has passed away. In doing so, I come across all sorts of obituaries and memoriams. Some talk about celebrating their life and being taken home. Others are very sad and talk about how they were robbed of the individual. The worst are death notices for babies. I saw one yesterday and felt sickened by how sad it was. The infant was only one week old. I also see death notices for teenagers and young adults and it talks about their dreams and how they never had the chance to achieve them.
I also wanted to discuss this topic because I remember that this is around the time of year when someone who died should have been celebrating a birthday instead. I am not talking about my grandpa this time. When I was living in my second house (technically, but I don't really remember the first), I was friends with a girl across the cul-de-sac from us. She and I usually got together to play and hung out with our other neighbors too. Then she moved to California in 1987, along with our next-door neighbors from that time. I found one of the next-door neighbors on Facebook last year and then inquired if they were still in contact with her. Then I found out that she was killed in a car accident in 2005. I was shocked and saddened to receive such news. Partially because I only remembered her as 11 years old and partially because her life was cut short before she even got to turn 30. I later asked another friend/neighbor about her and found out what she was like as an adult. I learned that she owned a clothing store, had a great sense of humor and was always fun to be around. I would have liked to see a picture of her as an adult, but none were ever produced. I feel bad that we lost contact and hope to stay in contact better with other friends, no matter where they live. I love that Facebook is around and that there is the ability to connect (or reconnect) with so many people.
In regards to all this talk about death and people who have departed from life too early, I keep thinking about ways I can leave my mark on the world. I know I have a voice and I want it to be heard. I hope and pray for my loved ones and myself to live a long and healthy life, but know that it is short and I should live it up and cherish each day. I want to be able to live for all the people who weren't given that chance. That's an overwhelming and daunting task, but I believe that if I'm doing what I love and making myself happy, that's good enough for now.