Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No One Ever Said ......


...... that life was fair.
But damn, sometimes the scales seem to just get stuck over there on the unfair side.

My youngest child went to a funeral last night.
The funeral of a friend.
A friend who was also a senior in high school.
A friend who was not the only high schooler in our community to die this year.
And that beyond sucks.

My son has seen too much grief in his 18 years.
He, along with the rest of my children, grew up in ways that children should not have to grow up.

Life is not fair.
And death does not discriminate.

A family that planned to watch their son graduate this Saturday ...... has had its dreams cut short.
The future will not be as they had planned.
Or hoped.

And though I have not experienced the pain of losing a child, my heart hurts for them.
And it hurts for my child.
My heart hurts for all of our children.
Because most of them learned, at an earlier age than we did ...... that life is not fair.
Their care-free days of childhood ended too soon.
Cut short by a fact of life.
And death.

Sometimes that fact gets re-enforced ...... over and over again.
And grief comes raging in like a tsunami.
Leaving so much damage in its wake.

No one ever said that life was fair.

But I wish someone would've told me ......  how hard I'd have to swim.


  1. Life may not be fair (i.e. it's hurtful) sometimes, but the old cliché is cliché because its true: without dark, we wouldn't appreciate or perhaps not even recognize light. The children in my life have gone through three significant and very close losses in 7 years, and they are now on the brink of a fourth. Yes, it's been painful to watch, BUT I have seen them turn gradually into the most compassionate, incredible young adults...that's partly due to just who they are at the root of themselves, but I have no doubts that much of it is the choices they've made and continue to make from the hard experiences they've had. They've learned to love and let go, they've learned to nurture themselves and others, they've learned to appreciate the people and times in their lives, they've learned to not give up on hope and happiness. How many people live long, long lives and NEVER EVER learn those things? Life may not be "fair", but the rewards of actually walking many paths of pain can be something that builds the kind of people this world desperately needs. While I wouldn't wish any of the pain my family has been through on anyone, I know pain and life go hand in hand, just like joy and life go hand in hand -- intertwined and inevitable. Its what we do with it that matters. Keep swimming! You are doing great!

    1. Thank you, Anon. I, too, have some of the most compassionate and giving children. Before I wrote this post I wondered if my oldest would be doing what they're doing with their lives, had Jim not died. I decided that, yes, they would have, but they are certainly more deeply committed and passionate about their work than I think they might have been, had they not experienced so many "storms" in their young lives.
      So yes, grief has had positive effects on all of us, and that knowledge helps me every single day.
      And true, if we're going to live ...... fully ...... we're going to experience pain and loss.
      And though sometimes it's difficult, I choose to live ...... very fully.
      Thanks so much for the encouragement. :)

  2. I am moved by the comments above, as much as the post. The evidence is everywhere: The most compassionate and generous people are often those who have been hurt the most.

    I wonder how our lives would be had we been educated (not just intellectually but also emotionally) and prepared for the fact that death is part of life?

  3. Thank you for expressing what most of us feel about our children having to suffer this pain. Beautifully written.