I spent most of the day in a state of high anxiety because several people from high school had cryptic Facebook messages about how they were "shocked" and "sad" and their "thoughts are with the family..." but no one would say who had died.
It didn't turn out to be someone I knew well, although I did know her way back when. I think she was in my high school psychology class junior or senior year. It's very sad. It's always sad when a young person, a young mother, dies.
We're so fragile. We hold onto this life by a slender thread. One tiny thing goes wrong - your heart beats the wrong rhythm, a blood vessel in your brain weakens, a car on your block spins out of control, and you're gone - your children are left motherless, your husband left a widower, alone and grieving, in the blink of an eye.
Tragedy is always one heartbeat away.
And somehow most of the time we are able to put that knowledge aside and go on about our lives, pay our bills and clean our toilets and not think about the fact that this could be that moment when our whole life changes - or stops. Could we exist at all if we saw every possibility? Could we function if we thought, "It could be any time! It could be NOW!" as we went about our days?
Of course not. In order to function we have to put that knowledge of our own mortality, of the mortality of people we love, out of our heads most of the time. But it's hard to ignore when someone, particularly someone your own age, dies suddenly and randomly.
It's hard to ignore right now.
(If you're a Grammaland High School grad, you can friend me on Facebook or e-mail me for more information... I hate to be cryptic, too, but this isn't my story to tell here. If you're reading this on Facebook and it seems redundant, please know that my personal blog auto-feeds to Facebook, so this was originally posted at http://prettybabies.blogspot.com).