Just a pictureless post to say I am still here, but not really writing. Yesterday we went to a city about an hour away for the funeral of the 19 year old daughter of our friends. There are no perfect words to describe that event. We picked up our daughter from university in a nearby city first because she wanted to attend. She remembers when the two to them played Barbies and jumped on a trampoline together.
There were so many people in attendance. She was in her second year of university, engineering. She wanted to develop better prosthetic limbs for people. She was a down hill ski racer. She played volleyball and basketball and maintained an incredibly high average in school. This was a girl who touched so many lives at only 19 years old. Imagine what she could have accomplished had she not died.
Her father, a sweet, funny, sarcastic, intelligent man, managed to play the guitar and sing a song for her, and then proceed with a eulogy that was both touching and funny. I have no idea how he did it. Later he told me that Kayleigh helped him write it. His pain, and his wife's, is so palpable.
The whole day, my husband and I were reaching for our daughter's hand, holding her, leaning against her while sitting on the pew. Our son did not have the same memories, as he is a little younger, the last baby to be born of our group of friends. We let him stay back, go to his part time job, but I texted him during the day and tried to maintain as much contact as I could.
They do not know why she died. She went to sleep and did not wake up. She had experienced what she thought was a seizure in December. She went to the doctor, but nothing came of it. Apparently with something like epilepsy, one seizure is not enough to diagnose. I'm not even saying it was epilepsy. Nobody knows. But it's something to grasp at. I am not religious. So I'm not here questioning a deity. I am thinking about the loss of what could have been, a life unfulfilled, potential that will never be reached, parents who both said in separate circumstances that they do not know how they can continue living for thirty more years as if their own lives have a finite end point. I am thinking about my own two children and how I've nattered on about the small, the insignificant, the ridiculous. I'm thinking about my own life, and my husband's. Are we doing the best for our own bodies to keep going and enjoy retirement and be there when our own kids grow up and have families of their own if that is indeed what they will do. And then I'm thinking does it even matter? Should you not just live each day as if it were your last and not fret over the salad, or the wine, or finishing the work project on time, or spending too much on a pair of boots, or whether the upstairs bathroom gets finished or not.
This is a girl, as her dad described, who sucked the marrow out of life. To watch the slide show of pictures in which she was laughing and competing and throwing her arms around a multitude of friends was bittersweet. So I guess perhaps what I took away from this, a lesson that Kayleigh has taught me, is don't postpone happiness, or joy, or fun. Seize the day. Go on that trip. Laugh at that joke. Give that compliment. Don't sweat the small stuff, as the saying goes. And tell your children you love them every day.