When a 19 year old friend dies, you get to thinking about death.
Actually, I did quite a bit of thinking about death when she first got sick.
I remember talking to her on the phone. An 18 year old girl faced with death.
I didn’t know what to say.
“It’s all gonna be okay,” just didn’t fit.
It all seemed so unfair.
I am thankful that she fought so hard and shared so much during her final months. Part of me thinks “Oh, how tragic!” but the other part of me says, “What a full life!”
If everyone could produce as much love in their 50, 60, 100 year lives as Kaycee did in 19, then this world would be in pretty good shape.
I believe Kaycee’s life was exactly as it was supposed to be. She lived fully and inspired thousands to do the same. I know my life is richer, my appreciation for life more profound, and my tolerance for taking things for granted has decreased.
To give that gift to thousands of people? What a worthwhile life! We should all aspire to making so much of our existence.
So am I sad? Of course. I cried when she first told me she was sick. I cried countless times during her sickness. I cried when I told her goodbye. And I cried when I heard she died.
But I am also relieved. She felt so much pressure to hold on. She endured so much pain and discomfort. Her strong soul imprisoned in a weak body. She was ready to die. And she did so with a profound grace.
So many of us are afraid of death. Even though it is the one known thing in our future, we still approach it with fear. We run from what is inevitable.
Kaycee fought as much as she could, but accepted her death, as well.
I like to think of death as a doorway. We can be dragged through the doorway, clawing at the ground. Or we can wave a sad hand at the life we will miss and walk though to the other side.
Either way, we’re going through the door.
Kaycee walked through with the grace of a warrior. Giving us lessons, even in death.