On Choosing to Live Life

Today, I attended the viewing for a funeral that is set to take place tomorrow. The deceased was the husband of a former co-worker of mine. He had recently returned from a trip to Europe and seemed to have caught the flu. It wasn't long before his body started to shut down and he was gone. He was only 32. Besides his wife, he also left behind a 5 month old son.

As my other co-workers and I stepped into the funeral home today, I observed how surreal the experience was. There were so many photos of him with family, holding his newborn son, from his years dating his now wife, from his wedding day.

But he was gone. It's so difficult to grasp when it happens to someone so young and so healthy.

I couldn't help but think how unfair it was for their young son. He would grow up without his father. His widow was left all alone to raise their son. The future they had planned together was gone.

When faced with this kind of second-hand crisis, I think it's only natural to reflect on our own lives in some way. I thought about how I would feel in her shoes. Where would I be without my husband? What if we had a child? Children? How on earth would I find the strength to go on? And, in my anxious mind, I also recognized the risk of having children when life is so fragile.

The thought has occurred to me before in other ways. How could I, in good conscious, bring children into a world where they may be harmed? Other abuse survivors understand the pain that can be inflicted by others' actions. How would I protect my children from the evil that walks this earth, often disguised as do-gooders and respected members of the community?

I know this isn't a healthy way to think. Life has to go on, right? Life can be beautiful, right? Still, something about the viewing today gave me pause to reflect on this. Anything can happen. Did my co-worker wish she had never married and/or never had her son? Having never been in her shoes, I can only guess what she's feeling, but I doubt that this is what she will be thinking.

Regardless of the risks, I have to live my life. I have to find and accept the beauty that it brings, even if it's not easy to let go of the fears.

So, here's what I'm going to do. Everyday, I will say to myself, out loud, "I will not let fear run my life!"

Who is with me?

Image Credit: iStockphoto.com robertovm

Stay Strong,


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