Taking Things For Granted

Reflections on an unexpected news.

A friend’s husband died of leukemia about two weeks ago. He was 28.

Well, OK, maybe she wasn’t my friend. Maybe we were just two persons that happened to live in the same building during what probably was one of the most enriching periods of our lives. Maybe we didn’t really hit it off. Maybe she actually hated me for being drunk and shouting at the top of my lungs just outside her door at 4h00 on a Monday night whilst she worked on her thesis. Maybe she tried to jinx my bulge with one of her ancient Bulgarian curses. Maybe, I was actually scared of meeting her in the hallway in fear of being punched in the face. Maybe… well, you get the drill now.

However, when I heard she was getting married two years ago, I couldn’t help but feeling very jealous happy for her. She had met her husband in the same place where she and I had met. They had had a perfect fairy tale romance that could only end with a “happily ever after” marriage. Disney producers could totally make a movie based on it. Seriously.

So obviously my jaw dropped when I heard the bad news. I was in shock, but not because of the actual death, but because it was such an eye-opener for me. I’ve always believed in the traditional life/death cycle, where the oldest dies first and the youngest lasts. Luckily, this has held true in my life.

The passing away of the significant other must be hard at any age, no matter what. The feelings of loss, frustration and anger will get to you, regardless of how many years you have been together or the things you’ve done. There will always be a sense of not having had enough time with your partner. That’s normal, I get it.

However, what happens when you’re 28 years old and already a widow? Where’s the time you were supposed to have with your partner? Where do all the future projects you had thought of go to? What happens to all the dreams you had in mind when you said ‘I do’? How do you recover from such a loss so early in life?

This has all led me to realize that I have always taken things for granted. I have not let myself enjoy all the moments I’ve spent with my family, my friends of my boyfriend to the fullest, thinking that I still have plenty of opportunities left. I’ve grown accustomed to the idea of still having enough time left.

But perhaps I don’t.

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