Remembering Without the Reminders

rememberingTwo weeks ago I was on a quick brain break in the middle of my work day, scrolling through Facebook to catch up with the outside world. The title of an article caught my eye about a camper being struck by a falling tree and killed. I normally wouldn’t click on something like that but I did because I remember camping a long time ago when a tree fell nearby and how impressed we were by the sheer power and noise; and how close it was without being  too close.

So I clicked through to read what happened. I read, and I scrolled, and my heart jumped into my throat when I recognized the person's name. Wait, that can't be, I thought. But it was - a friend and a former client.

How often do you click through to read a story and  think, “How awful. That is so tragic.” And you return to your work.

This time, I couldn't get back to work because I began to think about a girl who will grow up without her Dad and a woman who won't grow old with her husband.

This all weighs on my mind today not only because it's September 11th, but also what is happening in current world events,. We risk becoming de-sensitized. We read from the comfort of our homes. We see shocking images and video, we might cry, we might donate money, we share it with our networks and say something must be done. And we go back to our business.

And then we read something in the news or something happens and we know that name and it hits far too close to home. And we see the suffering it causes outside of a faceless name in a news article and we do more. We do what we can to help heal and fill the gap that has been left open.

Our friend’s teenaged daughter spoke at the memorial service and was so poised, so beautiful it was heart wrenching. She joked she hadn’t taken high school speech yet and went on to share stories about her Dad. She talked about how proud she was to have him as her Dad even while her friends were embarrassed by their own parents. She said she had been feeling ornery when he and her Mom left on the fateful camping trip, but they never leave on bad terms so she was careful to say she loved them, gave them a hug and said, “See ya Monday.”

Our friend's wife followed saying she and her husband had recently adopted a new motto. “Do more.” His memorial was held at the top of our ski resort mountain. Pictured above is the lift ticket to to get up there.

I share this not because I am seeking your sympathy. The loss is theirs and my heart goes out to the family; the ones left behind.

I share this because it seems like we are constantly reminded of how fleeting life is; that we should hold our loved ones close; never leave angry; “do more.” But most importantly, I’d give anything not to have more reminders if I promise just to remember.