Reflecting on intermingled extremes

Thoughts on our perspective, the beginning and the end of life


I’m thankful that there are times that are so atypical and acute that they hit you like a ton of bricks. They snap you out of your day-to-day haze of planned events and expectations to remind you of how much we have to be thankful for and how fragile the balance is between plenty and loss.

This Thursday I sat in a church, reflecting with family on the life of Marcella’s grandmother who had passed away that Monday. She died peacefully, happily and surrounded by family. I spent much of the service watching my sleeping, three month old Son. That contrast alone was enough to set my mind racing; Thinking through the beginning and the end of life. My mind was pulled however to another place: To a dear friend of many years. Sitting in a coma and in critical condition as a result of a terrible car accident.

To reflect on the end of a life well lived, the first days my first born and the abrupt, tragic and merciful change to another. What a heavy burden true perspective is! To be reminded, so fully, of the fragility and the preciousness of our time here on earth. It’s in these moments, when the temptation is to try and run from the cacophony of emotions that seem to drown out all of reality, that for just a moment reality is in the clearest of focus. That in the wake of such sharp, contrasting emotions, normal worries and trials pale and fade and the ever present truth that we tend to forget becomes clear. We are deeply blessed. That this life is incredibly hard, but that it is a infinitely precious. That joy and sorrow are deeply mingled.

Right now, I’m compelled by the mystery of such intermingled extremes. I’m left to consider what’s next though. Is this just some interesting thought experiment or does this change my day-to-day reality? What can I do to keep this perspective close to my conscience, to fight the temptation to fall back into the status quo?

Right now, these thoughts are clearly unfinished and so is this post…


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