On Friday, I will be attending the funeral of close family friend — Mark. He was a father, husband, son, employee, and so much more. Also, he was young, no more than 45 years old.
It always becomes real when somebody dies. And when that person is close to your age, just visited your parents’ house the week before his heart attack, it become even more real.
I heard about Mark’s death at 3:25 in the morning, last week Tuesday… I got up to use the bathroom and just like an old Blackberry addict I picked the phone up just out of habit. “Mark passed away at 1am — heart attack,” my sister wrote. The moments after because so surreal, I felt suspended in time. I didn’t want it to be true, and for a few minutes it wasn’t true. For a few minutes I am not even sure I breathed. A tear made it real for me I think.
The moment, minutes of silence went on and I thought about Mark, Mark. He was closer to my sister more than he was to me, she knew him all her life, plus I was the one always leaving to live somewhere else. I knew him most of my life. When I was a teenager he went out with my best friend who is a couple of years older than I am. She and I no longer keep in touch, saw Mark more than her. Mark and I talked about her once or twice. They still kept in touch.
“Life, it’s bigger than you and me,” REM sang, but what about death?
I do not know much about death and I hope and pray not to know much about it for a very long time. Death, if anything teaches us more about life than we care to recognize. It makes us appreciate it a little more when someone unexpectedly passes away. And if we choose to, it gives us another opportunity to start anew.