There are times when one is reminded that life is fragile and fleeting. Tuesday, two days ago, was one such day.
I came downstairs with the dogs a bit after 6 AM. As I looked out the window, I saw two fire trucks and the Medic One ambulance. Given their location, I know there was a problem across the street. Our neighbors are a relatively young couple, Brad and Kira, with two very young daughters – Leah and Hope.
A bit later, I looked out and watched as the Medic One ambulance pulled away without a patient being loaded into the truck. That caused a bit of concern, but it was also possible that the medical issue had been addressed.
A few minutes later, one of the fire trucks left. The remaining truck remained for some time, and I had the sinking feeling that something terrible had occurred.
That was confirmed a half hour later when cars from Pierce County Sheriff arrived. I knew they only came when a death had occurred.
I suspected, and a text from another neighbor confirmed it, that Brad had died. I had seen him outside last weekend and he had the look of someone who was very sick.
We learned later that day that Brad had been sick for some period of time. He wasn’t an old man – with young daughters he was in his late thirties at most.
Now the lives of Kira, Leah, and Hope have been shattered as they struggle to move on without a husband and a father.
There is no good time for a death in a family. And even less when death comes to someone young with so much in his future: growing old with his wife; watching his daughters grow; seeing them marry, perhaps becoming a grandparent.
Death awaits us all.
The best we can do in times of witnessing the deaths of others is to remind ourselves that there should be no wasted moments in our own lives.
Rest in peace.