There are three or four blog posts in my head but haven’t had time to put pen to paper or fingers on keys. There is a myriad of reasons to not get to something. But this week, when I was reminded about the preciousness of life and the importance of living each day thoughtfully it demanded I stop making excuses and pause.
This week media reports came a hundred times over about lives quickly snuffed out or altered in a busy Toronto neighbourhood. The tragedy of lives cut short has been repeated several times this year in Toronto. On the opposite end of the spectrum my 99-year-old great aunt, who has one way or another been at my side for over 55 years passed away. In Nunavut, where my daughter Emma is working for the summer a distant colleague, not barely in their twenties was killed by a hit and run. In two days I was directly reminded of the fragility of life.
At lunchtime today Emma phoned. We cried together-thousands of miles apart. We still talk weekly by phone. We cried for Aunt Evangeline and Emma’s inability to be with her whole family to celebrate her life. We cried because of the hole left in us by her passing, despite living a full life. Inwardly I cried for the families and victims in Toronto. Together we cried for Emma’s tiny Arctic community who heard this morning that one of their young people who had a zest for life in a community that needs every ounce of zest was gone. And I cried for people in this world who when faced with grief can’t cry.
Tonight despite the excuse of busyness I need to put it aside. We need to pause and reflect on the gift of life and relish in its difficulties. We need to grieve the loss of other lives so that we can live ours even better. We need to cry together and support each other in living and grieving.
Tomorrow I will head to Windsor to join in the celebration of my Great Aunt’s life but also grieve the new reality her passing creates. The need to live differently because of her life, the lives of those injured or killed on the Danforth in Toronto and the life of the young person in Arviat. Life is a gift that demands gratitude, pausing and the need to live each day with intention. Confronting death is about pausing and embracing life.