You scan the news on your phone early one morning. It had been delivered via email from a colleague.
You read it again.
You try to process it, but profound sadness interrupts the process.
All of the problems you thought you had before learning the news — those unreturned phone calls at work, that mysterious back pain, that worrisome noise your car makes — all seem minor now, petty to the nth degree.
Numbness settles in and lingers.
You attempt to get through the rest of the day. A voice from your car radio asks an on-air expert about what to do about a leaky faucet. You punch in another station, and another voice is concerned about what the Chicago Bears will do with the third pick in the NFL Draft in April.
You turn down the volume because whatever you’ll hear for the rest of the day will sound trivial.
You think about the sad news again. You still find yourself in some sort of trance, wondering if you’re ever going to blink again.
Minutes later, a barista gives you a smile after giving you a cup of coffee. You needed both; you’re thankful for both. It’s a moment — a precious one — you had taken for granted for too many years before today.
“Precious” was the word you saved to describe a newborn.
It’s now a good word to use to describe every minute of every day.
A week later, you attend a funeral that feels nothing like a funeral. Yes, you hear sniffles to your left and to your right, and your eyes well up a couple of times. But the service turns into a true celebration of a remarkable life.
You mingle with others after the service. A man is in awe of what he learned about a woman who had treated each day as a golden opportunity to love others.
‘I want to approach life the way she did,” the man says to you.
You are no longer numb.
From a death, you and hundreds of others in the church had gained a healthy perspective on life.
You exit the church.
You can’t wait to live life anew.