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I know some of you have been through this...
Old 03-11-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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I know some of you have been through this...

But today I am seriously looking at meaning of life questions.

A good friend who is only 2 months older than me passed away, suddenly, last night.

She was thin, fit, ate right (vegetarian, health nut)... did everything right.

She was a teacher - I cannot imagine how a classroom of 4th graders is going to deal with this loss.

It was very sudden... was fine on Saturday, died of septic shock last night.

It's making me very philosophical. Wondering why I'm hanging on to my job just for a "buffer" of safety. (firecalc says I'm good - but there's not a lot of margin in my numbers.)

My plans, when I retire early, are to do more volunteering. I'm already on the board of a school foundation, and coach a USFIRST robotics team... I can see lots of opportunities to do more volunteer work if I'm not tied to a job.

In the meantime my DH and I need to get a plan to help support her husband through this. After 30 years with her, they were still hopelessly in love. He's in shock, but he'll need people to talk to when the shock starts to wear off.

I'm 51. She was 2 months older than me. I'm stunned. We both lost brothers prematurely, in our/their 40's. But knowing death *can* happen suddenly doesn't really process right now.

I'm rambling... I'm sorry.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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So sorry to hear this, Rodi. Ramble as much as you need to.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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So sorry about this.
That kind of shock hits many of us, always at random times, and whatever age and experience we have accumulated does nothing to prevent our being struck hard by it.

Still, look at the silver lining, which is your inclination to take a good hard look at your own situation and do what's best.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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One of my best friends retired at 55, died at 57. It really sinks in.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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My condolences. What a shock to have this happen to someone so young and healthy. It really brings the fragility and evanescent nature of life to the forefront of one's mind.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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I am sorry to read this, Rodi, sorry for your loss.

We talk all the time here about asset allocation.

Time is an asset, too, and your friend's sudden death is a harsh reminder of that fact.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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(1) While it is of course unfortunate that your friend died despite following a healthy lifestyle, don't let that cause you to abandon any good habits that you may have. Although there are no guarantees, it is better to play the odds and try to "do everything right", rather than be fatalistic.

(2) We are all at risk of imminent death: either through trauma, or undetected disease. While it's a bit impractical to "live every day as though it is your last", I do suggest trying to be consistently kind to others, especially those close to you. Helping your friend's husband will of course be consistent with that approach.

(3) Take comfort in the fact that your friend (apparently) died quickly and without significant pain.

(4) If possible, start gradually ramping up your volunteer activities over time.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #8
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Life is fragile and uncertain, for sure.

I attended a funeral service last Friday for the Grandfather of a friend.

At the service he mentioned that 7 of his relatives had passed away during the past 12 months. All the deaths, except that of his grandfather, were unexpected.

So as not to violate forum rules, I will not say anything more except that it is in times like these when my Christian faith strengthens me.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Loosing friends is hard at any age. It is also a reminder to enjoy life for all the good things it has to offer.

Glad you are thinking of helping her husband out.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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A co-worker died in his 40's a couple of months ago and that's why I'm on this forum.
This was actually about the 6th co-worker that have died in the last 3 years, but they were a little older, in their early 50's.

I started to think about the crazy people that I have to deal with at work and thought, "wow...this could be me...dying at 40 and I'm spending my 50 hours a week having to listen to crazy people whine so they can get their big bonus or keep their job."

I'm going to target retiring in 5 years instead of 15 years now.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #11
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Thanks guys. I met her in college - and I still can't believe she's gone. It was so weird when her husband called to tell me.

Surreal is probably the best description.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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So as not to violate forum rules, I will not say anything more except that it is in times like these when my Christian faith strengthens me.
++1
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:05 PM   #13
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I have lost several friends and relatives.
I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:23 PM   #14
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Rodi the same thing happend just a few months ago to a friend of mine just two years older than me. Completly unexpected. It makes you stop and think and shake. I am terribly sorry for your loss. I understand how surreal it feels.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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My condolences Rodi. You are right that her students will be shocked. Most kids are very resilient and will be fine but a few of them will problem have a hard time with this.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #16
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These are awful things to go through. I understand why you are feeling philosophical..

You are not rambling, just talking.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:15 PM   #17
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These are awful things to go through. I understand why you are feeling philosophical..

You are not rambling, just talking.
I agree.

I'm sorry for your loss rodi. I hope time heals your heart.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:19 PM   #18
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Sorry to read this. Take care.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
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So as not to violate forum rules, I will not say anything more except that it is in times like these when my Christian faith strengthens me.
While I am in no way religious myself, if some sort of faith brings comfort in difficult times, I see no harm in that.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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My condolences also. And yes, hard to imagine how hard this will be on a class of 4th graders. Very sad.

Milton said most of what I would have said, so I'll quote that and add a bit at the end...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
(1) While it is of course unfortunate that your friend died despite following a healthy lifestyle, don't let that cause you to abandon any good habits that you may have. Although there are no guarantees, it is better to play the odds and try to "do everything right", rather than be fatalistic.

(2) We are all at risk of imminent death: either through trauma, or undetected disease. While it's a bit impractical to "live every day as though it is your last", I do suggest trying to be consistently kind to others, especially those close to you. Helping your friend's husband will of course be consistent with that approach.

(3) Take comfort in the fact that your friend (apparently) died quickly and without significant pain.

(4) If possible, start gradually ramping up your volunteer activities over time.
Well said, and while times like this make us reflect about the 'what ifs' of our own early demise, the fact is that most of us will go on to live long lives. On to our 80's/ 90's, and even past 100 for some of us. So while we might focus on a 'live for today' strategy in times like this, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we probably need to plan for a long (and hopefully productive and happy) future. Maybe you can't absorb this right now, but think of it after the shock wears off.

The best thing you can do now is be a friend to the spouse. After the shock wears off, each holiday, and each minor milestone will be tough - they need someone to listen and just be there for them. Professional help and/or a support group can help some people, and/or faith for some.

Take Care -ERD50
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