A couple of days ago I got news that someone I once knew died.

I would typically find some euphemism like “passed away” or “left us” to adorn such an ugly reality. But lately, I don’t have the energy for something like that. The truth is-death has been haunting me. Just today during my run through some trails I imagined death chasing me. I ran faster and managed to outrun it. But sooner or later it will catch me. This truth is more haunting than I’d like to admit.

This person’s death is shocking. It left me feeling powerless. The sadness of her death is shared among friends and family who knew her as a person who dreamed, breathed and walked. I hate death. I hate how it shrivels a husband to heaps of sorrow and regret. I hate how it forces us to say “good-bye”. I hate the way it slithers unannounced and expects to be welcomed. I will never consider death a friend nor will I honour it by calling it my enemy. It is a shadow of something I do not understand. Something one day I will have to face. But for now as I listen to the loss of a family who has lost a daughter I will respect it.

In the midst of tears, anger and grief may we find the courage to say in honesty what death forced us to say…goodbye.

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