Aging well,  Grief and loss,  Mary Oliver

When life feels too short

“When it’s over, I want to say: All my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” ~Mary Oliver

Yesterday I attended the visitation for a neighbor’s husband, a man whose life ended too soon following an illness. The funeral home was crowded with family, old neighbors and friends. Other neighbors who’d known Jim for decades — whose children grew up with his — had many good stories and memories to share. Sadly, I learned more about him after he died than I did when he lived a few blocks away from me. Isn’t that the way it often goes?

We’ve had too much bad news in our wonderful neighborhood (and our world) lately. And if we’re not mindful, it’s easy to get pulled under by the long, slow tug of sadness.

At the visitation, another dear neighbor and I talked about the brevity of life; how we’re all getting older. “I feel like we all need to do more to enjoy ourselves, to appreciate the time we have left,” he said. “We need to have more fun, maybe go out dancing.”

Oh yes, I said, we do. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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