A matter of life and death

sudden-death

A few days ago was his last. Nobody saw it coming. At the age of 45, nobody expected it. Nobody ever does.

As the news spread, the usual responses registered like first responders and eager voters. The whys and hows rolled in like a forceful tsunami as the recipients of this news attempted to make sense of the inexplicable. Shock, grief, sadness and disbelief hovered over every room he once entered daily or ever commanded. There were hushed whispers. Silence was not an option.

An abrupt change of scenery and circumstances often creates a groundswell of conflicting emotions that shift everything everyone has known as “normal” into a space that is not. That discomfort must be verbalized. It is how we replace the fear, the unknown, the knowing and the void.

None of the reactions seemed incongruent or out of line. Sudden death reverberates on those whom it touches. It is like a collective rug that gets pulled out from under everyone who has ever taken for granted the presence of another individual. ‘Til death do us part.

We think we know. We always think we know. We always think we know someone well enough to know that we would have known this might happen. We just don’t want to believe it could happen to him or to her without some kind of warning. We certainly don’t want to accept that one day, it might happen to us. We understand that life is full of surprises, yet fail to comprehend that death has the deck stacked against all of us and will eventually win no matter what. Hands down.

For every person who has cheated death, few think about the fact that cheating life is how most of us live. Scott was a perfect example of this. Many months ago, he began to recognize internal rumblings that something was not quite right.

After serious consideration and deliberation, he did the unthinkable and took the unimaginable final step. He gave up his life as a corporate lawyer and traded his handsome salary for the freedom to start his life over again.

And he lived happily ever after.

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