My wife has some new friends she's made over the past few months taking our daughter to dance class. One of these friends has a husband who's gone to the class occasionally. My wife described him as 32, fit and healthy. He had a heart attack yesterday. On the way to the hospital his heart stopped twice. He was in a coma and they did a test to see if oxygen was getting to his brain. Apparently it wasn't. They were collecting funds for his funeral was the last message she received while we were eating dinner.
This man is only a year older than me. (and I'd hardly describe myself as fit and healthy!) He has a 5 year old son and a two year old daughter. His son may have a vague memory of him later in life, but his daughter will have no recollection of him.
I can't fathom this. I know death is the only for sure thing in life. It doesn't mean I dwell on it, cause I can't negotiate the terms. Well, I guess I can to a degree. That's like saying a 400 pound man can't help his weight because it's genetic. But ultimately, it'll happen eventually. But eventually shouldn't be next year!
You know, guys start thinking about these things when they are 50 or so because friends and acquaintances begin hitting the hospital with frequency and it spooks them. People at my age die in car accidents or something external, not heart attack or stroke!
My biological grandfather died of heart failure when he was 30. His kids, my father age 4 and aunt age 2 at the time suddenly didn't have a father. My father had 3 heart attacks around his 41st birthday. I don't know this side of the family well, but I know my genes are theirs. Sometimes negative motivation like what I'm doing here is the best thing for me. I've been hitting the gym with more frequency than usual, but not what I need to do to give my kids their fair shot at knowing their dad.
I guess we all have to look over that cliff at some point. It's now for me. I don't just want to see my kids graduate or anything like that, I want to be a grandfather. I want to see and do a whole lot more than I have so far.
As for my wife's friend. My heart aches for her and her kids. This will be the roughest time of their lives. Make sure your family knows you love them.