It shouldn't have happened that way but it did. We'd like to think it shouldn't have happened at all, at least not yet. Things like this don't happen at such a young age. But it did happen and those left behind have to find a way to forgive and let go.
Matt was 26 years old, healthy, vibrant and starting a new chapter in his life. My son will soon be turning 25 years old so Matt's story has had a big impact on me. Matt grew up in Vancouver but was living away from home and had just landed a position in a prestigious accounting firm in Toronto. His folks, Tony and Jane, were excited for him and asked if he could visit before he left for Toronto. On the deck that warm and breezy afternoon Matt stood up to make a point to his mother and his aunt.
When he collapsed his mother caught him in her arms. She shouted for her husband Tony. Matt’s aunt, an emergency room nurse, was already performing CPR by the time Tony came out with the phone calling 911. Matt died later that day from what is believed to be a heart attack.
It shouldn’t have happened but death happens everyday to people of all ages. I think sometimes we, unconsciously, believe that if we stick to the ‘should’ and ‘should nots’ of death maybe we can hold off the fear of it. Many years ago I was told that my mother, who was not in the best physical health, was going downhill. I did not want to hear it and ignored the information. “She’ll be fine,” I said. Then she was gone.
You get all the usual reminders from a story like this; make time for the ones you love; live everyday fully as it may be your last; ask for what you want; and do what you love.
However, in the living is the certainty of dying. My father always says that if one is meant to die by hanging they will not drown. When it is your time to go, you will go. Matt’s aunt was on the spot, with all the training in the world to help in that situation, but not the ability to hold him here.
There is absolutely no point in worrying about how and when it could happen to you or to a loved one. Use the antidote to worry that we practice in Reiki called gratefulness. If you find yourself thinking about what could have been or what should have happened all the time, stop! While I talk about death it is just a metaphor encompassing all the situations in your life that bring you sorrow and pain.
Remember instead what you have in your life that brings you joy. Think only of the memories that bring a smile. Use humor, journaling, or praying to say how thankful you are for all the blessings in your life. Count them everyday. Some days you may have to look a little harder than others but keep at it. With practice you will more easily see the sunshine hiding beyond the rain clouds. Then you will become the rainbow and a living bridge to joy!
Without a doubt Tony and Jane will miss Matt. As they move forward they will remember how blessed they were to share his birth, his life, and his death.