I was hiking on a mountain with my wife in far West Texas in Ft. Davis. Cell service is sketchy there but my sister finally found me. She called my wife and when my wife turned to give the phone to me I knew something was wrong. The voice on the other end was that of my brother-in-law, Mo. His voice was shaking and he told me, “Todd, Chad died this morning.” How does a 44-year-old man die who is healthy and active?
I may never know the answer to that question. I was stunned and fell to my knees as I tried to grasp the truth of what I had been told. My wife asked, “What”? All I could say was Chad died. Is there an easy way to say that? I don’t think so. We were camping and hastily packed up for the three-hour trip back home. I had to get home and tell my children the awful news. We made several phone calls on the way home and arrived there to break the news to my children. It was hard.
That was September 23, 2017. Two weeks ago. It seems so hard to believe that so much can change in a blink of an eye. I didn’t see Chad much that past few years, he was always busy working which I couldn’t understand. But I always knew he was there and I never thought he would die, I never anticipated getting a phone call telling me my baby brother was gone. I have had my share of death, my dad died 13 years ago and multiple sets of grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles but not a baby brother.
I have yet to mourn as we had to make plans for his funeral. He had no life insurance, don’t die like that, it is too hard on those left behind who have to bear the burden of that choice. Death is so hard and harder still when things unattended are left behind. I would like to see him once more, but everyone who loses someone says that. I pray for comfort for my mom, siblings and his fiance, Des.
I realize that life is indeed so fragile. I am looking at my relationship with my family with more appreciation and have tried to enjoy them more. Instead of worrying about the mess grandkids bring, I have tried to enjoy their presence. Church has been hard to attend, but God is not far away. I pray I will grieve and in my grief find comfort.
Until next time, peace.