Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Don't Understand This World.

So I have finally started volunteering for our local hospice, writing personal histories. Last week I delivered my first "Tuesdays" story (named for the book, Tuesdays With Morrie), and I felt really good about it. Good enough that I thought it would be okay for me to go to the Volunteers Appreciation Event, even though as yet I have spent more hours in volunteer training than I have as a volunteer.

They had people share thoughts about of different patients that they worked with...I didn't feel like saying anything because the memories of my sister are still to intertwined with this experience. It didn't feel right to say anything but the whole story, so I just kept quiet and listened. I left there feeling very many of the stories were positive. The other volunteers talked about patients who had been able to laugh and love, give advice and ultimately say goodbye.

When I got in to work an hour later, I walked in to a nightmare. I stopped by a colleague's office and said, "How's everything?" She said, "Not good. Did you know B?" I didn't understand what she was asking? B was, is, this incredible man that we work with, and yes, I just talked to him on Friday. "He was in an accident last night and he didn't make it." I was just overwhelmed with sorrow. We found out later that he was killed by a pick-up truck while riding his bicycle, a hobby and passion of his that took him all over the state and country.

I'm just so angry right now. How do some people just disappear from the earth while you're not looking? I'm reminded of my father's death, just hours before we were to visit him. Senseless and just wrong. Why didn't they get to say goodbye? Where is the fairness here? I have a hard time believing that we are mortal, even given the proof that surrounds me daily. But I do not know how to live as though every conversation is my last. B didn't know that when we talked about my daughter on Friday that we would never talk on this earth again. But he laughed, he was engaged, he was listening, he was wonderful. He made me feel important, as he always did. I guess that's the lesson I'll take from him...but I wish I could remember if I gave him the same feeling.


Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr