I know I’ve been away for a really long time. When I wrote the last post, back in January, I had every intention of posting more frequently. I have lots of pictures from various travels that I hoped (and still hope) to share. However, the day after I wrote that post I found out that my dear friend, Ùna, was killed in an avalanche. (Articles about what happened can be found here, here, and here.)
Ùna was a medical resident, and one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met. She was, in every way, set to light the world on fire. She was only 25. Ùna and I were not close friends, but I very much hoped we would be. We had planned to meet up for coffee along with a couple of other friends what turned out to be a few days after she died. I did not want to go as it was on a Tuesday evening, and it seemed a bit of inconvenience to me. I was going to say I couldn’t come because I thought, ‘It’s ok if I don’t go. There will be lots of other times we can get together.’ It turns out, there’s not.
I know there’s no way any of us could have known what would happen. That is true for most things that happen in life. Even still, my presumption seems foolish now, and my fussy selfishness shames me. One thing I’ve resolved to do more of is choose people. If a person matters to you, don’t miss an opportunity to strengthen your connection. We all take time for granted, it’s so easy. But tomorrow is guaranteed for no one, neither for the down and out nor the best and brightest.
A few of my friends ran a half-marathon in Ùna’s honor to raise money for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team who did their best to save Ùna and her friends. The donation page is still active. Please make a donation here to help them meet their fundraising goal. (They accept American dollars as well as British pounds.)
I really miss Ùna and so wish she was here. I still can’t believe that she’s not. It seems, sometimes, that it’s just like she’s really busy, and we’re really busy, and we just can’t seem to catch each other. I get that sense all the time. The following quote articulates, better than I ever could, what I mean:
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains as it was. The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no sorrow in your tone. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
~ Henry Scott Holland
How I so look forward to the laughter we will share when we meet again.