My children have been very lucky. They have been sheltered from and have had no experience with death. No loved ones, no pets(aside from goldfish), not even a houseplant(that cactus the I overwatered doesn’t count). Everyone and everything that my kids hold close and dear are still here. Perhaps it’s my fault. Maybe not.
Like I said, they are lucky.
Through the natural course of life, loss is something everyone deals with. Some deaths are more easily accepted and expected than others. Namely elder and ailing relatives and pets, of course. Those who have hopefully lived a long and fulfilled life.
Today proved there is no such thing as a natural course. And unfortunately, this had to be my daughters (and the rest of my childrens) first touch with someone dying…and way too young.
My daughters 12 year old friend had been bravely and fiercely battling cancer for a few years. But, her little body lost the fight today. She died in her home at 1pm.
Twelve years old. And gone.
My daughter is a wreck and so are her friends. A dear friend has died from a violent and ugly disease. She doesn’t have any clue how to wrap her brain around this and make sense of it. She knows and understands death through things she has heard. But, like I said, she never experienced it first hand. She also never expected to be mourning the loss of a wonderful, sweet little friend.
She was hit, way too hard, with a dose of life’s reality that death doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what you look like, how old you are, who your family is, how much money you have…nothing. We are all vulnerable to deaths whim. Whether you are expecting it or not. That is such a sad reality for kids. It’s more nightmare inducing than Freddy Kruger because it’s the real thing. It can really happen. Even to children.
Today, my daughter mourns deeply for the loss of her friend. But she also is partially mourning for the loss of the innocent belief that living a long and happy life doesn’t exist for everyone and there is no way to know who isn’t going to be so lucky.
One thing that she realized on this sad day is that people should appreciate what they have and enjoy it. As cliche as this sounds(although not to my daughter)…you never know when it’s going to be over.
So from my daughter and the rest of our family to all of you, my wonderful friends and readers…Live. Laugh. Love. Make every second count. For real. Because, well, you just never know.