Life is Too Short

Aaron and SharonI am re-posting this today, as it was 3 years ago, on a Saturday morning that I lost someone who is still in my thoughts constantly and still leaves a hole in my heart.  Time does seem to help the initial shock of the situation, but the mere mention of his name can still bring an instantaneous flow of tears.  We all get caught up in life, and if this article helps anyone remember what their priorities in life should be, then its been a job well done. Love you and admire you Leila for being the strongest human being I have ever met and Aaron could not have made a better choice.

And now for the re-post…

 

I recently lost my best friend. I mean best, the kind you call as soon as you have something amazing to share, the kind who has seen you through relationships, been a shoulder to cry on and has been there for weddings, births of your children and whose family has become an extension of your own. Best by anyones standard. He was 37, had a 22 month old and a 6 week old. He had a business that he had just expanded and as far as he told me, life was worthwhile because he had the best wife and kids a man could ask for and friends that anyone would be jealous of.

 

There was no dramatic illness, no warning, no chance for goodbyes, not even a chance to get a family shot of him, his wife their son and their newborn child. One night he went into his room, undressed for bed, laid his clothes over his footboard in preparation for the next day, plugged in his phones and devices, and went to sleep. He never woke up. I think my children will be forever haunted by the sound of my screams as I reacted to the phone call giving me the news. Horror and sorrow somehow seem too light to justify what I was feeling. All I can recall is repeatedly saying to the caller “who died? What are you talking about? Who exactly died?” Its like there was a brain disconnect. I could not fathom that this guy who I could BBM at 1am or 6am and get a response was no longer there for me. This guy who was part of my trio of the three musketeers as we used to be called was suddenly not there. The sorrow this loss has left behind has no end. His is the first name that pops up on my blackberry when i search for a contact, he is the person I think of when I get an early morning call or text. He is the person I think of on my long drives for work where he could keep me entertained until I reached my destination. He is the person I want to call because as a pharmacist, he was my go to guy for what crazy meds I could mix before getting on a flight to avoid both anxiety and nausea. He is everywhere and yet no longer anywhere within my reach.

 

I can still picture his room after the coroner left as I went to say my goodbyes. All ready for the day ahead. Everything neatly laid out. Everything charging. A baby bassinet in the room so his wife could feed during the night. A normal bedroom for a couple with a newborn, the only difference being that there was now only a single mom of 2 babies. A woman with more strength than I ever gave her credit for, a woman who amazes me each time I see her or speak to her. Aaron you chose so incredibly well.

Aaron collage

Why do I tell you all this? It’s because LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT! It’s not because I like to share my personal feelings, in fact, I am one of those people whom psychologists would have a field day with because I don’t like to share, at least not with anyone other than my husband or parents. I tell you this because I want you to see the light. No, not the light that people describe on near death experiences, but the one that let’s you put things into perspective. The one that helps you realize that the thing that aggravated you today is likely not as dramatic as the feelings that were rushing through you. The light that that teaches you to react less dramatically because really, was it that bad?

 

I was watching a woman and her child in the airport this afternoon. Her child was restless and had accidentally bumped into another passenger in line. The other passenger didn’t seem to notice but the dramatic response of the mom and how mad she got with her child for being careless just seemed to me so typical of how we overreact to things these days. Everything is overdramatized and every sentence starts with OMG or “this is the worst day of my life!” Granted sometimes it is, but it can’t be a daily thing. We need to relax. We need to accept that life isn’t perfect, our kids aren’t perfect and that the sky won’t come crashing down every time something doesn’t go as we expected. It can’t possibly be healthy to live under this type of stress. We are a society of high strung multi tasking individuals who never take a moment to relax. If you think I’m not talking about you, tell me when you last tweeted, added a Facebook post or checked your iPhone or blackberry while pretending to listen to your child and responding with a “sure sweetie, that sounds great.”

 

We need to get back to the days when the internet didn’t exist, at least a few hours a day so that the time we spend with our families is memorable and so that we have no regrets. Work hours should have a beginning and an end, yes even for us entrepreneurs. You never know how short life may be ( I type this as I sit on a turbulent plane so you get my point) so live it like you mean it. Live it today, don’t wait for it to happen to you, make it happen for you daily. Don’t just make plans, take action. Most importantly, tell the people that you love, that you love them. Tell your friends how important they are to you. Don’t wait until all you have are regrets, say it when it means something and has the power to make someone else feel great.

 

I know my best friend knew I loved him, he knew it in my calls, in our friendship, in our time together but damn I wish I would have told him how much he meant to me and how much better I was for having known him. Aaron, you are forever in my heart and your friendship is one that I will always cherish.

 

Comments (24)

  • Wow, this is an eye opener. I am sorry for your loss and I am taking your advice and spending some time with my babies at the park today. Thank you for this touching post

    Reply
  • I seriously want to cry! I’m very sorry for your loss Sharon. I know exactly how you feel! My Gramma passed away 5 years ago this year and I too still break down at the sound of certain songs, certain things people say and every time I need someone to talk to or feel lost. We all have that 1 person whose memory is etched in our hearts and mind, the important thing is to remember the good times and the great person we lost.

    Reply
  • Yes we need to get back to the basics and be with the people who mean the most to us. I am so sorry for your loss, what a wonderful best friend and tribute you wrote. I too lost my best friend 8 years ago (my brother) and can still remember the day I found out. It never leaves you and memories appear at the oddest of times. Hold on to the good and know your friend is with you. Thank you for sharing your story. It helped me – yes we need to just breathe and relax more and just enjoy!

    Reply
  • So sorry for your loss Sharon. I wrote a post about living life to the fullest not too long ago after my mom got sick and after she lost her best friend. It’s sad that it takes things like this to make us realize how good we have it. Xo

    Reply
  • I am so sorry for your loss Sharon. I totally cried reading this post probably because I have been an emotional mess since having my last baby but also because this struck a cord with me. Life is too damn short and we all have to take the bulls by the horn and make every day, every minute, every second worth it. This really made me think about all those days I just didn’t get it right but I will from here on out. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • I am glad this article has touched you all, and thank you for your kind words. Ironically Aaron was the one person who was admired by all because he got it, he understood how to value the people in his life. I always knew how much he valued our friendship because he always told me. Our lives have to revolve around the people that we love the most, we need to give them our attention and always make them feel like there is no where you would rather be than with them. That’s the best way to make sure we never have any regrets. By the way, since it’s been 3 yrs, I thought I would follow up with the fact that his wife Leila is the most unbelievable person I have ever met. She brings a smile to my face every time we speak, and their boys, well, I have no words for how amazing they truly are. Leila is the perfect example of never giving up in the face of adversity, and my husband and I adore her and the boys as if she was a member of our family (she doesn’t know but we are trying to formally adopt them 🙂 she is the true definition of a wonder woman.

    Sharon Vinderine
    Reply
  • I love you Shortie! 🙂

    Jack ponte
    Reply
  • Verry well written, Sharon. Sensitive and a lesson to some. I live my life by this line and enjoy the day by day little joys and happy moments, and people should know that waking up in the morning is a little miracle. No man is an Island, and we are all pretending to live forever. Much love to you, Lea

    Reply
    • Thanks Lea, you have always been someone who understands that nothing is more important in life than the people you love and I’m sure your kids would agree with me!

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
      • That’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard Sharon! I agree, smothering your loved one with endless attention is perfect, my husband asks me where I’m going and expects honesty from me and THAT is how you smother someone with love! I can’t believe some couples live a LIE for YEARS and when the perfume slides on the floor there’s no one willing to talk things out it’s the way it should be, pretend if’s nothing, it is nothing! Great post btw!

        And Lea that was such a selfless outlook I bet in person that attitude matches perfectly!

        Reply
  • WOW …..taking a moment to collect my thoughts. I can so relate to the over-reacting or trying to multi-task (although I think it has been proven multi-tasking doesn’t actually exists), and telling my kids I’m busy, or in a minute, or soon. In fairness I have been a SAHM for more than 18 years so they got most of my time for a very long time, but somehow none of that will matter in a situation like this.I will only wish I had more time, and better time. Make everyday count!

    Cathy Canton
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    • Cathy, we can all relate to the dramatic reactions, and the multi-tasking, that is the definition of moms!
      You truly got my point, make everyday count and make it count with the things that matter and the people that matter. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and this article!

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
  • This post really hits home as it is approaching the 3rd year anniversary of my 44 year old husband’s death. He also died suddenly with no chance to say goodbye. My heart breaks whenever I hear others going through the same thing. it is such a terrible thing to experience. Hugs xoxo

    Reply
    • Ann, your loss was so crazy and sudden, I can’t even imagine how you felt but I remember following it on Twitter as you updated your Social Media friends. Such craziness to have it happen so suddenly. I know you understand Leila’s situation all too well and likely have a very strong appreciation for how to value every single day.

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this and I’m so sorry for your loss. Life IS too damn short…I wish people would really realize that. It’s been at the forefront of my brain and decision-making processes since we lost my dad last April. I live my life as it’s my last day and I wish other people would strive to see that life is too short to hold grudges, be angry, and not have meaningful relationships.

    Reply
    • It’s too bad it takes such a terrible experience such as losing a loved one to remind us of what we already inherently know Sarah. I’m so sorry for your loss!

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
  • That’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard Sharon! I agree, smothering your loved one with endless attention is perfect, my husband asks me where I’m going and expects honesty from me and THAT is how you smother someone with love! I can’t believe some couples live a LIE for YEARS and when the perfume slides on the floor there’s no one willing to talk things out it’s the way it should be, pretend if’s nothing, it is nothing! Great post btw!

    And Lea that was such a selfless outlook I bet in person that attitude matches perfectly!

    Reply
  • Sharon.

    You are right about making sure there is time for family..3 months ago my cousin Sarah did exactly what Aaron did got ready for bed, and never woke up, no warning, nothing simply gone. We have yet to process this as a family as she was just 25. I miss my baby cousin more then words can say, and the fact that we still dont know why or how ( we are still waiting ) is driving us a bit batty. But yes it is so important to let those who you care about know. Hugs sent your way from someone who really gets it today exactly 3 months later.

    Reply
    • Hollie, that is horrendous! I am so sorry to hear that, that is devastating. You clearly understand the sentiment behind this article, although I’m sorry that it is so relatable for you 🙁

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
  • Oh Sharon, I’m so incredibly sorry for the loss of your best friend. I can’t even IMAGINE how difficult that must have been and still must be for you. This post is very touching, emotional, but also a great reminder to all of us that life is too short. It’s so easy to take things and people for granted, just expecting them to be there every day, when we should really realize that life can change at ANY moment…in a mere second. We must remind ourselves that all things, big or small, good or bad, are important and should not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thinking of you! <3 HUGS!

    Reply
    • Thanks Brandi, you clearly totally get it and we need to be constantly reminded of this very important lesson! That’s the difficult part. We get swept up in emotion but then go back to everyday life and forget that we were supposed to refocus , that is the trick!

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply
  • Although I don’t know you, as a kindred spirit in this life, I’m so saddened by your loss!

    Although we know that life in not infinite, we still somehow believe that the ones we love are, that somehow they will be here tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. But life has other plans, doesn’t it?

    Shattered is the word that comes to mind when loved ones are swept away in an instant. We shouldn’t wait to tell people we love them. Kindness should be ingrained in our nature. Last week someone cut me off on the highway, with only inches to spare. I honked my horn in warning. He slammed on his brakes. I thought, “Oh God, I’m going to die.” It was by God’s grace that I survived. Why would someone do that. Moving at 120 km?

    Did he not stop to think that he could have left my family shattered?

    Reply
  • XXOO I really needed to read this today…so lovely and sad. Thank you for sharing again xo

    Reply
    • So sad for what you and your family are going through Dee, if you ever need a shoulder to cry on over a lovely glass of wine and some delicious pizza, you know where to find me. Food is definitely a good place to find solace 🙂

      Sharon Vinderine
      Reply

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