Monday, January 7, 2013

Reflection On A "Short" Life

If you read my last post, you know that I had a friend who died over the weekend.  She was 60 years old and a long-time friend of the family.  She didn't have any children of her own, so she "adopted" me and my siblings.  She would take us for a week in the summer to go fishing, make dolls, and just "be".  And she died in the middle of the night.  Her husband went to wake her when she didn't get up at the sound of her alarm, and she was gone. 

I've been thinking about how 60 seems like such a young age to die, and how it is harder to accept death when it seems wrong in some way. 

I bought my boys a couple of books on the lives of the Saints for the Feast of St. Nicholas, with the idea that we would learn about a new one every day of the year.  Our reading has been more miss than hit, but it occurred to me that most of the saints we've learned about die somewhere in or around their 40's.  Many younger than that, but few older.

That got me to thinking that if Heaven is full of people who have lived "short" lives, then maybe their lives aren't so short after all.  If you have lived long enough to enter Heaven, then that's really all that matters.  Time spent speculating on all that could have been, or lamenting the chasm between the final outcome and our expectations, is not time well spent.

Maybe one of the reasons for the many, many saints produced by centuries past, is that the people knew they wouldn't have 80 plus years to get it right.  If we were middle-aged at 20, there would probably be a lot less pot-smoking going on, and a lot more praying!  Maybe we would live more consciously.  My guess is that we would more readily live a life that glorifies God, and at a much younger age, too.    

Dear God, Thank you for the peace that comes with the first day back to school.  Thank you for my friend, Linda, and for the time we spent together.  Thank you for the lives of the saints, and the way they inspire us to emulate them.  You are the Author of Life and Redeemer of death.  Thank you for giving us Your Son, who is everything we need to spend eternity with You.  Amen.      


  1. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

    Kevin always says, you don't live until you are ready to die.And if we grasp the reality of eternal life, we would cling so much less tightly to this life. I am still working on that. He is definitely ahead of me!

    1. Hey Caroline. Kevin is a smart guy. That's the second thing you've told me that he's said about the spiritual life. Does he think about stuff like that a lot? It's good you are married to someone who is "ahead" of you. But, I'm sure the distance between isn't as great as you make it sound. ;)