Death of a friend...
A friend and teacher of mine died yesterday. I’m still trying to come to terms with it. She was only 55 and although she had had health problems she wasn’t sick now. But the other night she woke up with head pain. Fortunately she wasn’t alone and her husband rushed her to the hospital. It was a brain aneurysm and although the surgeons were able to stop the bleeding they could not drain all the blood and her brain died.
We had an odd relationship in that we each knew personal things about each other that few other people knew, yet we weren’t friends in the sense that we called or wrote each other. Mary visited the Bay Area a couple times a year for martial arts activities and would stay with a mutual friend down the street. So whenever she was in town I’d go down and visit. Not much. Just quick catch-up and how are you doing?
I had told Mary once that I would get my black belt and I always expected that she would be at my test. Life is so interesting. Whenever people I know die or have their lives altered in crazy ways, I wonder how they would have lived if they had known how close the end was. With Mary I know the answer. She embraced life and she lived it completely. A few years ago she married a man I know she’d been in love with for a long time but because of their personal situations and personal honor they were not able to act on those feelings until recently. I’m glad she had the last few years with Ernie. In the 10 years I’ve known her I’ve never seen her happier. She was a woman who gave so much to others that the greatest sadness I feel in her passing is not that she is gone but that she couldn’t have had more time to enjoy her new found happiness. The world has lost an incredible leader and teacher.
The suddenness of Mary’s death and the fact that I considered her my peer is now making me ask myself, “What would I do different?” What would you do different?