Friday, September 11, 2009

Death

I just found out that a childhood friend of the family who has been missing for three days was found this evening. They were still holding out hope that he had survived. He was well-prepared with a tent and provisions. He was comfortable in the outdoors. His body was found at the bottom of a cliff. I am just stunned. What is it about these past few months? It seems like there has just been one death after another lately.

I wish there was something I could say; something I could do, but words are insufficient. What can you say to someone who lost their 21-year-old son who fell to his death off of a 300-foot cliff? Or the mom with three young kids having to go on after her husband's death; the family losing a grandfather to a seeming innocent accident; the always-hoped-against death of a friend battling a chronic illness? Don't even talk to me about 'God's ways are higher than ours' or 'He has a reason for everything'. Death is just mindless, thoughtless pain.

"How dare the robins sing,
When men and women hear
Who since they went to their account
Have settled with the year! --
Paid all that life had earned
In one consummate bill,
And now, what life or death can do
Is immaterial.
Insulting is the sun
To him whose mortal light,
Beguiled of immortality,
Bequeaths him to the night.
In deference to him
Extinct be every hum,
Whose garden wrestles with the dew,
At daybreak overcome!"
-Emily Dickinson
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