I was walking from Madewell to Bloomingdale's on my Spring living spree, bags in hand, when my phone vibrated to let me know I had a new email. I was expecting some kind of spam from one of the many mailing lists that my email address has found itself on or something work related, however it was an email from a friend of an acquaintance saying that she had passed in the night. (She being the acquaintance not her friend.) Before I go a character further, I have to say that I didn't know this person very well, only through facebook, herfture and email. Despite not knowing her in real, real life, her death shook me enough that it made me question the way in which I live my life. I mean, she was 31, had been living with cancer for years and despite that was still the shining light in my inbox every week.
I'm not going to dwell on the life of someone who touched my life without knowing much about it, but I have to say the death of a person in your age group always makes you rethink your life. It forces you to face you own mortality in a way that seeing an older person die never could. It drives home the message that life is short since it indeed could be over much more quickly than you think, causing you to rethink the way you've handled or not handled things. Having a friend or colleague who is merely a few years older than you live her life fully while dying, while you are stressing over the dumbstuff, makes you remember that life is a gift. I'm trying not to sound too shallow but it often takes the death of someone to make you realize how good you have it. I mean just yesterday I was bitching about the fact that I'm single instead of celebrating my new job and car. I was also debating on wether or not I should get real with my ex about us. Now all of that drama seems both small and huge at the same time. Small because it's petty stuff. My life is stinking awesome the end. However on the other hand my drama just got ocean size.
When you die the things you regret are the relationships you effed up, the people you took for granted, the time you spent working instead of living and a whole host of stuff that has nothing to do with how much money you earned, how many shoes you owned or how successful you were. People say it all the time but it's true, you dan't take it with you. The only thing you'll have on your death bed is family, friends and your memories--and perhaps a blanket. You have your love and that's all, and if you're me you have a heart full of love deeper than the ocean--Titanic reference--that is reserved for one person who either does not care or does nto believe me when I say that I love him not the job or the money or the outside shizz but the person who makes me feel like being me is the easiest thing in the world. (Trust me being me is not easy, being a puppy is easy being me is strange.)
You know, death makes you remember how fragile and temporary our bodies are. Once they're gone they're gone and you move on to wherever you came from. But in the meantime, while you have a body, tell the people that you love how much you love them, forgive the people that have wronged you, enjoy the time you have to do nothing, seek balance and have ice cream....real full fat ice cream that is rich and creamy and makes you want to jump on a treadmill after eating it. You only taste for as long as you have taste-buds so don't waste your sense of taste, or hearing, sight or smell for that matter.
*I'm not going to get all weepy and sappy but I am going to say that Shanna Sandmoen was an amazing woman and her weekly emails and blog posts will be missed.