My heart has been particularly tender around death lately. It feels closer than usual. Less abstract.
The sudden loss of a family friend (and father of 3) in a freak accident. The death of a girlfriend's dad, a couple years younger than my own. The passing of an amazing mentor who took exquisite care of herself.
I grieve for their families. I grieve for the lives they will no longer touch. And I grieve for the rest of us, our fragile mortality. My heart can barely hold the knowledge that each of us, even my bright beautiful children, will leave this earth some day.
Perhaps more than anything else, I grieve for every moment that I've wasted in my life. All the moments spent in worry, fear and self-doubt that I will never get back. All the moments when I was distracted by the past or planning for the future and failed to see the beauty of the now.
With each death, my own end feels more tangible and more inescapable. I find myself wondering... when I get to the end of my life, be it and 15 minutes or 50 years, what will I regret? Will I regret putting myself out there? Or will I regret holding back? Will I wish I had done more? Or wish I had done less?
Death is a hard truth to face. It feels so fucking unfair. But just as the stars shine brightest on the darkest of nights, feeling uncomfortably close to death is pushing me to live. To savor little moments. To cherish my children, even when they're hard. To be brave, and vulnerable. To love fully. To ask for what I want. To laugh. And to stop wasting time being anything but loving with myself.