A friend died suddenly. He was one of those fun, vibrant personalities people couldn't imagine growing old and feeble, but his death hits those who knew him very hard. For ten years we sang in an annual amateur review to benefit Boy Scouts. It was a very good show considering that most of the principle singers were simply a bunch of mommies and daddies. Dan was always priceless-a comedian whose vocals were upstaged by his wide-eyed enthusiasm and crazy dancing. He was a young bishop as well--a stalwart, caring man with a limitless capacity for inclusion. The youth loved him.
He also was a valiant father and husband, and I cry for his family--good children who lived with the security of knowing their wise and loving father was always available to them, and a wife who was still his best-girl. One day he was fine, and the next--he was gone.
I spent a good bit of time asking Heavenly Father about this, understanding that being good, or valiant, or loving doesn't provide any of us a free pass against tragedy or sorrow. If it did, life would be less a test than a vending machine where we'd deposit good deeds and obedience, not out of faith and good character, but rather as a wise investment. I do understand all that, but losses like this are still hard.
So this was an important perspective check, a time to refocus on what really matters, and what's important. Books can wait to be published, events can be rescheduled. I hope you'll all understand if deadlines pass. I want to invest in people today. I want to hold my grandson, celebrate an upcoming wedding, snuggle with my husband without the press of the calendar or clock.
I hope you'll all do the same. And to my sweet friends who mourn, we're heartsick for you, but we rejoice that love is eternal. What a splendid reunion you'll have!