I worked for an amazing CEO for a full decade, many moons ago. I hadn't seen him in several years until last week, when we went to the funeral of his youngest son. Only 32 years old, he died of cardiac arrest. My dear former boss clung to me and wept the day before the funeral. "There are no words," I said to him, I, who had written countless words for him as his chief communications officer. He kept saying that he was sorry for crying, and I kept saying that it was the best and most appropriate response. His face has haunted me all throughout this week. How can one survive the loss of a child? I simply do not know.
Funerals make us mourn, not just for the departed, but for all those we have lost. My father died four months ago this week, and I have mourned him especially deeply today. And my husband and I talked about his father, who died two years ago this coming month, and my mother, whom my husband never met (we lost her 25 and 1/2 years ago). I just started crying and couldn't stop. We both cried. (I love that man.)
Life is a fleeting and fragile affair. How lucky are we who get to feel the love of ones close to us, for however long they are with us. I am infinitely grateful, and infinitely sad at missing them.