Snap: That is how quickly the thread of life can be severed. A blink of the eye, a click of the fingers – and someone is gone, forever.
Recently, a young person my son’s age died suddenly. I am not going to share details because that would be intrusive and disrespectful. Suffice it to say that many local teenagers will be paying their respects at the funeral.
Such a ghastly shock: To the family first and foremost. How I feel for them.
But also for this teenager’s year group: For those left behind and facing, at the age of seventeen/eighteen, the utter reality of death, of our short spans upon this earth, of life’s fragility.
It has hit them hard. Parents too. We, the parents of children still with us, ache for the bereaved parents’ loss and feel increased anxiety about our own beloved children. Of course we do. That is natural.
This death has affected a whole community. This untimely snapping of the bond which holds body and spirit together has sent a wave of grief through so many lives.
But in such devastating snaps we realise anew just what is important in life – and, with luck, we pause for a moment in our unending search for material success and comfort and reflect that no amount of money or fame can compensate for the life of a child – and that moments missed with our offspring, because we were too busy grinding round the Rat Race wheel, can never be retrieved.
Our children are our true wealth. Not our wages or possessions or houses.