Two more funerals last week - plus the passing of Sister Monson and the (seemingly) perfect 6-week-old baby of a family friend - and once again I am thinking about life, death and grief, and what it's all about.
I tell myself that eventually I'll be desensitized to it all. None of these recent funerals were for family members, most of them for people I didn't even know. But I am still, always, touched by the love expressed, by the hand of God evident in each person's life.
I often think back to my college studies, my "history of the family in Europe" class where I struggled to wrap my brain around infant mortality rates and low life expectancy of people through the centuries. Some historians rationalize that these people didn't become as attached to their children as we do, knowing they would probably die young. Marriages ended in death just as quickly as modern-day do in divorce. They were lucky to survive each winter ... we vacation in Mexico. Maybe they didn't allow themselves to love as much or as deeply as we do. It seems perfectly logical.
My heart tells me something different, though. My mother heart is different than my college heart - and it keeps changing and breaking. It tells me that people who are often thinking about death might love even more fiercely, more deliberately. They might not get caught up in the little things. They might see beauty in grief and loss, in companionship and love, in every single day. They might realize sooner that we are here for each other.
They might be more conscious of who and what they leave behind. They might make sure that it's extraordinary.