Monday, October 15, 2012

Hall Pass

Last week I found out that a college classmate of mine had passed away. I'm not sure what she had been suffering from. I just know that a 37-year-old woman departed this world, leaving behind a husband and three little girls.

It is a heartrending and horribly unfair turn of events. As my friend wrote on Facebook, "I feel like young moms should have a hall pass on mortality." A simple and elegant idea that we all know to be painfully untrue.

I wanted to write something eloquent, but it turns out I am speechless. So speechless, in fact, that I haven't even discussed her passing with my husband, sister or any of my friends. I'm too overwhelmed with sadness for her family and too filled with the rushing sound of my own mortality, like blood pumping in my ears. 

Whoosh.

I have always been a little preoccupied with the eeriness of looking back on someone's life and realizing you know how it ends. (Is it just me?) I remember hanging out with Kim in college -- Homecoming, sorority parties. I didn't know then that her life would be cut short, too short. No one did.

I can't begin to imagine how I would handle the knowledge of my own imminent death, leaving my young family to pick up the pieces. No one likes to think about her own mortality, but with a child in tow, living has taken on an even greater urgency.

That untimely loss occurs all the time the world over does not soften the sting of injustice. I know people deal with bereavement differently, and I truly have come to respect those differences. (I admit that I didn't always.) But in times like these, my first thought is always to doubt the idea of an omnipotent God.

If I sifted through the dusty college photo albums that now live in my parents' attic, I know I would find a photo of her. But I took this one from college off her Facebook page and cropped out the other person. (I hope she doesn't mind.) I just wanted a photo of her as I remember her. Rest in peace, Kim.
RIP Kim (Bal) Sloper
1975-2012