One of my friends is dying.
I’m not referring to the daily grind we each experience, the condition Pink Floyd once assuredly described as being “one day closer to death.”
I’m talking about someone – a peer, an equal, a person who might as well be me – slowly winding her way towards no longer living.
It’s not only sad – she’s really a sweet, funny, happy, unique person – but it’s, of course, also a reminder to us all that life is truly and genuinely fleeting. While we consciously understand this concept, when it affects someone who at ~ 35 is far too young to experience this indirectly, let alone directly, it’s a tragic if not cliched reminder that we take much too much for granted and savor each day far too little.
Far be it from me to wonder – aloud, anyway – as to why The Big Man allows this to happen. Good people shouldn’t suffer, and they shouldn’t die far too young. They should live their lives not knowing or worrying -- or being forced to care – about the finite aspect of life – they should spend their days bearing smiles, not burden. And they should be among us – alive – to radiate their positive, upbeat energy. They shouldn’t spend their youth, or whatever one can re-badge Middle Age, confined to a hospital bed, requiring assistance to walk, before the inevitable occurs and they’re no longer here to validate our memories of them.
But they do.
I’m not sure if Billy Joel’s “Only The Good Die Young” got it right, nor am I certain that Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey don’t sometimes regret their teen anthem “My Generation” bearing the lyric “I hope I die before I get old.” But I do know that as consciously as I can bear it, it still baffles and saddens me knowing the world is losing someone far too good and far too young.
To quote Donna Summer, that's not the way it should be.
Not at all.