faith · family · · Orthodoxy

Dying Young

As we sat around the table drinking our coffee and visiting in our pajamas, my mom got a call from her cousin. Aunt Carol passed away, a heart attack, the day after Thanksgiving, in the early morning. My grandmother who was sitting at the table with us began to cry, to sob. It was a deep cry, the kind that comes when you love someone very much, the kind that speaks what words cannot. Aunt Carol was my grandmother’s best friend, her lifelong companion, they are sisters.

 I do not have a sister, two younger brothers. However, I am raising daughters, and I have witnessed the special bond that sisters have. It has been wonderful to live through my girls, to experience sisterhood. My grandmother commented at the funeral that I had no sister, expressing her belief that I do not fully understand her loss. She is right, I don’t. I am envious of those who have a sister, or sisters, to share their life with, I can see that it is a special thing.

 When those we love begin to die it is hard. I was born into a young family. I was the first grandchild on my mom’s side of the family. My grandparents married young, had their children when they were young. My mom and dad followed suit, and had children when they were young. My mom pointed out that I have not experienced many deaths yet. Yet. I am 35, I am young I think. However, I am getting older, and so are those that are very close.  It’s hard.

Aunt Carol seemed young to me.  She was in her early seventies, as many people pointed out as if this was a sufficient time to be on this earth, yet I felt she was young.  I will miss her.  It’s been hard to let her go.  I am finding that it is difficult to let life go.  The pace at which a life is lived seems fast to me, our lives are fleeting.

This Thanksgiving holiday made me really take a look at  my time, how I spend it, how I waste it, how I want to live it.  I want to live thankful everyday, no matter the circumstance.  Life is very precious.  I want to slow down on the inside, even if my outward life is going too fast.  Is that possible?  To slow down?  To be still inside so that I can be aware, not just passing the moments in ticktock fashion.

To waste time is sad to me, but that too must be accepted.  The mundane is part of the experience. It is hard to accept that when I realize just how short a life really is. When you think about it, everyone dies young.

Thy Kingdom come… Oh Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.


8 thoughts on “Dying Young

  1. I'm sorry for your loss. I feel this way alot lately too. Maybe it is our age? I just turned 37 and I see how short life really is. 70 seems young to me as well. I try to live each day lately with a sense of purpose, to cherish those every day moments and S.L.O.W. down because it's so precious this time we have.


  2. It is easy for me to forget “purpose”. I sense that slowing down is the key. And I think you are right, our age has a lot to do with it. I did not start to feel the aging process quite as strongly until this year.


  3. May her memory be eternal!

    I am blessed in that my husband, my brothers and sisters, my parents, are all still alive. I lost my father-in-law five years ago suddenly, and have no living grandparents. In addition, we lost two little boys before birth in 2011. The funny thing is, once you have a certain number of losses you start to really feel that pull toward heaven. I feel like a good part of my heart is already there, waiting for me. If, God willing, I live long enough, there will be so many people waiting for me that my heart will be fullest when contemplating eternity, and my feet will just barely touch this earth. Then one day they'll leave the earth behind altogether. As I get older (and I'm only 39), I fear it less and less.


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