In 1994, my father was a few months shy of turning 40 years old when he died by suicide.

39, and gone.

Decades later, in 2019 my sister was a few months shy of turning 40 years old when she died in a car accident.

39, and gone. 

My heart aches here, a little over a year and a half away from turning 39 myself. Am I supposed to find some terrible meaning in these circumstances? I struggle to keep my sanity as I prepare to prayerfully pass their final milestones. Then I quiver and quake, God, will it be me as well? How do I manage by, and make it make sense? How selfish of me to sate myself on wishes and hopes when they will forever be without them. 

39, and gone.

But never gone, not fully. Their short-lived lives staying with us. I wonder about the odds of a father and daughter dying at the same age such as they. Unplanned tragedy took them far too soon. I find myself grasping for solace, but how could one find any here? A father, forever lost to me. A sister I will never get to know as I should have, as I could have. 

Life is shortened when you find yourself surrounded by unimaginable loss time and time again. This lends one to have a short-sightedly selfish perspective, a simple one, live. Surround yourself with those you can love who will love you fully. Strip your life of needlessness. Whether that be unhealthy lifestyles, toxic relationships, or unnecessary objects. Simply invest in your life. Because if you were to ever find yourself standing at the edge of 39, wondering whether this would be your last year on earth, none of the other chains will seem worth the weight. 

Here I am, planning past 39, but preparing for it as well because I know it’s coming for me, one way or another. Here I am, loosing myself of everything life threatening while steadily being misunderstood.

All that matters is that if I find myself 39 and gone, that I found myself before the end.  


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