Thursday, June 23, 2005


Today, during what I thought was a casual conversation, a young mother I am just getting to know mentioned her husband's death from leukemia a few years ago.

It felt like I had been hit full force in the chest by a fastball. My heart stopped, and then restarted, beating wildly. I lost my breath.

I think it was the contrast that caught me by surprise: her matter-of-fact acceptance of serious illness and death as a part of life.

Or maybe it was her openness. So often at work we only share that which we know is external, neat, and acceptable. Real life (and death) can be so messy. She generously opened her heart for a moment, and allowed me to glimpse what is most real for her.


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