Sometimes it feels like the world really should stop revolving. Like life should stop short and everyone should take the time to see that things have slipped off their axis and that our souls are in mortal peril.
That never happens.
Today I found out that a colleague – someone I sit next to at the office – passed away over the weekend. She was 54 years old. Her husband died three years ago. They leave behind two sons – one 16 and the other 22. It is immensely sad. I did not know her or her family that well, and although it’s probably blasphemous to say so, I didn’t like her very much. But I will say that she was a kind-hearted woman who always had a smile and a laugh for everyone she met. She was incredibly generous and her family was everything to her.
Selfishly, I have been thinking less about her today than I have of myself. Because this is just too much like what I lived through 18 years ago, almost to the day. Until today, I’d only imagined what my dad’s workplace had been like on the day we called to say he’d died. Now I know. Life went on. Students still had their art lessons. Teachers and faculty still had work to grade, cigarettes to smoke, children to counsel.
My life stopped that day, and I don’t think it ever quite got going again at the same pace it was before he died. It makes me cry heaving tears to know that those boys have to live through the world ending not once, but twice. And really not even twice, because my life ends a little every day, or so it feels at times.
It’s this damn time of year. I was already on the brink of tears, just by the sheer fact of it being February. This brought back flashes of a time I never wanted to remember, and the pain is agonizing.