I woke to Roy running down the stairs this morning, and rushing out the back door. Minutes later I heard the sirens of the emt's and fire engine. I scooped Finn from his crib and wandered bare foot and bed headed out the open back door to hear the sad news that our older neighbor, James, had died. Roy had been summoned to help, as is generally his role. I stood their holding Finn trying hard to think of what I could say or do to help in some small way. To me I think there is NOTHING I could do to even come close to making them feel any better. But you can't just do nothing. At that moment all I could think about was how he always brought our garbage can back in after it had been dumped. This was very helpful when both Roy and I worked, but even after I was home with Finn all day, James would always roll our can back in from the street for us. So in a small gesture of love and gratitude for his service to us, Roy wheeled their can out to the street for pickup today, and I wheeled it back after it had been dumped.
Why does death almost always feel like a shock? Like we never expect it to happen and we have all the time in the world to figure out what we are doing and how to do it. When it's the exact opposite- death is unavoidable, and our mortal time is incredibly limited.
So here I am, feeling sad for Anne, cleaning my house like a mad women because that gives me something to do besides think of death, and trying to think of what else I can do to help. I thank God for his wonderful plan of happiness, and the sweet peace the knowledge of eternal families is! It helps ground me through days like this, when it would be too easy to feel scared and lost.