Friday, January 10, 2014

The Fragility Of Life

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons.”
- Ruth Ann Schabacker -

Yesterday, we traveled three hours away to the town of Hawkesbury, Ontario to attend a funeral service for an old friend; a beautiful and kindhearted 54-year-old woman who departed this world much too early, and left behind a loving husband, three wonderful children, and three cherished grandchildren.


My heart ached as I looked upon the pained and grief-stricken faces of her family, particularly of her husband’s; a devoted and loving man who was by his wife’s side every moment during her final weeks as she battled cancer, and who looked like his very soul had been crushed.


I was reminded once again of the profoundness of loss. If you have ever lost a loved one, you know what that’s like. You struggle to breathe because it feels as though a boulder is sitting on your chest, crushing it.


I was reminded once again that life is a crapshoot; fragile and unpredictable. When your number is chosen, time’s up.


I was reminded once again that even if every day is as ordinary as the last, every day that you are alive is truly a miracle.


And I was reminded once again of the importance of living each day...no, every second...as if it’s your last. There is no guarantee of another tomorrow.


Every time you wake up to the miracle of another day, wake up to it with gratitude. Embrace it with joy. And enthusiasm. Because you’re still here in this extraordinary world. In this extraordinary thing we call life.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.



44 comments:

  1. i'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Martha. May she rest in Peace and may the close family and friends be surrounded in Love. The photos are beautiful and synchronized with the reminder that life is precious and every NOW moment is waiting to be filled with joy and gratitude. I wish you a blessed weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was heart wrenching to see this family dealing with so much pain.Their grief was simply overwhelming. I do hope she is resting in peace, and I hope that in time her family's grief lessens. And yes, life is precious; more so than we realize.

      Delete
  2. sorry for your loss, way too early....that's my age. Love your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she was way too young to pass away. It broke my heart to watch her family in such pain.

      Delete
  3. So very poignant and close to our world this week. Thank you so much Martha for this inspiration and take some time to remember and be good to yourself.
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need to keep reminding ourselves that life is very fragile, and how important it is to embrace each day. What that family was going through yesterday was so heartbreaking, and I don't wish it upon anyone.

      Delete
  4. This is a wonderful post Martha. Sometimes 'truth' can be difficult to accept but you have captured it here. I agree that life is a 'crapshoot'.....sometimes there is nor rhyme or reason for why 'things' happen the way they do. They just do.
    Your colourful photos are very reflective of the warmth you have for life. Thanks so much for this.
    Good weekend to you too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, Jim; there is no rhyme or reason for what happens, and that's what I told my friend's husband yesterday. His pain was so profound, you can literally sense it as you stood close to him. I can't tell you how heavy my heart was. I've been on the receiving end of grief, and it literally crushes you. My empathy for this man and his children was immense, and throughout the whole time there, I wished I could help alleviate some of that pain they feel. I came home exhausted, and deeply saddened. I hope they find some peace over time.

      Delete
  5. Great post, Martha, and so very true. My mother died at 53 after postponing so much in her life that in the end, she never got around to most of it. I am considerably more existential after seeing what happened to her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always enjoyed a simple life, so each day I find happiness in it. These moments really enforce that philosophy and lifestyle.

      Delete
  6. How difficult for her family! I hope to not find out how that feels .... it is a good reminder to love life, love your life, and the people in your life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it certainly is a good reminder to love your life and the people in it. It's heartbreaking to see anyone in so much pain. I hope in time it gets easier for them.

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful tribute. My deepest condolences for the loss of your friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry that she suffered that way, and sorry that her family is feeling such grief. They are such a loving, close family, and it's heartbreaking that this has happened.

      Delete
  8. I reflect on this, more and more, as I approach the age of my mother at her death (56). You are so right, of course, Martha... every moment is precious and irreplaceable. I would love to say that I live my life in every moment, but naturally I fall far short.

    My condolences to your family for the loss of your dear friend. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we all fall short of that at times. It's human nature. But as long as we do our best on most days, that's a step in the right direction. I am saddened at the passing of this beautiful woman, and my heart aches for that family. It's a very tough time for them.

      Delete
  9. I'm sorry for your loss, but it does remind us how quick it can happen. My father passed in his 40s, by the time he found out he had lung cancer it was too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear that about your dad, Adam. That is very young. Life is so unpredictable. We have to live each day as if it's the last.

      Delete
  10. My condolences. I am truly sorry to hear about you loss. And, yes, I know all too well about those. Your words are deeply inspiring. Lovely pics. Cheers, my friend. And have a peaceful, grateful weekend. Cheers!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Definitely a grateful weekend! And cheers to you, too. I think we've all been touched by grief at one time or another, some of us very directly. It's heartbreaking to see anyone feeling such intense grief.

      Delete
  11. I am sorry, Martha. 54 is way too young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know; it's just awful. My heart is broken for her family. They miss her so much.

      Delete
  12. oh Martha, cancer is this evil disease that seems to be claiming one too many lives. I am so sorry for your loss. 54 is so young... My heart is with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ana, 54 is definitely way too young! And her beautiful family losing this amazing mother, wife, grandmother. I can't tell you how heavy my heart was yesterday. I felt so helpless not being able to take away some of their pain, which is what you wish you could do. I hear more and more about cancer cases, and it's pretty alarming!

      Delete
  13. I have recently had a couple of friends lose their spouses. It's a great loss to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a terrible loss. My father died from cancer, so I know personally how much heartache and grief it causes a family, particularly as they watch their loved one suffer.

      Delete
  14. My condolences, Martha.. what a beautiful tribute to your friend. I lost my best buddy from childhood at 53 due to breast cancer. I still find it hard to believe she's dead.

    oh, her poor dear husband… I have a reader now whose wife is battling breast cancer … they had just retired, bought a home in Florida … they live in Canada… sold their house and was in the process of moving down when she was diagnosed with State 3.

    Just insidious… she has had a double mastectomy and will begin chemo for a year next week, I believe it is.

    You are right … live life to the fullest because we never … ever know.

    Beautiful video … like Sarah McLachlln very much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Carolyn, I can't tell you how much my heart hurt witnessing how much pain that man was in. They were such a great couple, and they were at a great point in their lives; should've had so many more years together. Every time I think about his grief, her passing, I just feel sick to my stomach. It's just awful. Life is such a crapshoot, I tell you. That video really speaks to me. Every day is such a miracle. We should never forget that. I'm so sorry about your best friend; that is just tragic.

      Delete
  15. I'm so sorry sweetie, but your words are comforting, mostly I've come to realize that the best is let go, let God....a chaque jour suffit sa peine, one day at a time, sometimes 5 minutes at a time the worry about tomorrow well it's always tomorrow, you've put it very well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One day at a time, Lorraine; that's the best we can do. I pray that this family will find peace over time. It's heartbreaking that they are experiencing this grief.

      Delete
  16. Wonderfully written. I am sorry for your lose and theirs. I got teary reading this.

    Every second, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, every second. There are no guarantees for more time.

      Delete
  17. I'm so sorry Martha. And yes, one feels like one wants to die along with the loved one. Why go on? Everyday IS a miracle, and should be lived to its fullest. Not easy sometimes. And you're right. Life is a crap shoot. Thinking of you and the family who lost a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother and friend...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whenever I attend funeral services, I can barely stand seeing people in so much pain. I've experienced that much grief, and it is very difficult. I hope that in time their grief subsides, and they only think about the good times.

      Delete
  18. What a lovely, heartfelt post Martha -- how sad for the family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very sad. I hope in time their grief lessens. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy.

      Delete
  19. How sad for you and the family who lost a wife, mother, and grandmother, Martha. Your post is spot on. Life is a miracle and every day is a gift. I have been writing back and forth with an old friend who lost his wife to cancer early in 2013. I think his soul was crushed too, but he's slowly climbing back into life and living. I dread the day I have to face the loss of Terry ~ but I hope I do because I would spare him the loss of me. I hope your friend (the husband) will find solace in knowing that he was there for his wife when she needed him most. On a happier note ~ I enjoyed your photos as always, and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the fact that he was by her side every moment, which gave her so much joy in her final days is something that gives him a tremendous amount of peace. He did everything he could to make her comfortable and happy in the end, and this will certainly help him heal over time. Right now the grief is very raw, and the wounds are much too deep. It will take time. Happy New Year to you, too!

      Delete
  20. So sorry to read about this loss. It is a path we all have to walk so may times and it never gets easier. But having you there brought much comfort to the family I'm sure, Martha..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Francie; it's a path we all have to walk many times. I do hope that those of us who were present that day gave this family some comfort.

      Delete
  21. Matha, I'm so sorry you lost your friend. I feel for you and your family and theirs. I know what it is to lose people. I had a friend who passed away from cancer a couple of years ago and I've lost several family members. It is never, ever something I can figure out how to deal with. It is always the most difficult thing to deal with. Every one of us faces this and it never ever gets any easier. You are right, every single moment we are alive on this planet is a miracle. right now I am listening to my husband and son laughing in the next room and it makes me feel so incredibly lucky. Hugs and love to you and much, much empathy, Bird

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bird, for this lovely message. It is never easy to lose a loved one, and none of us are spared from that grief. While we are here, we have to make the most of every moment we have in this world, and with each other. I truly believe that, and live my life in that way as much as possible. And when I drift away from that philosophy, or forget it, I think about things like this, and get back on track. Thank you again for this comment. My heart hurts for this family, and I hope over time that grief lessens, and they only think about the good times.

      Delete
  22. Good sentiments. Thinking of you and your friend. Enjoy the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Doug. Nice to see you in the blogging world again. I hope you are doing well.

      Delete