9/19/10

Why?

This maybe a little rambling, but I just felt the need to touch on this subject as it's affecting many people around me at the moment.

Those of you who connect with me on Facebook will have seen my posts the past 10 days about a very sick friend. Well it makes me very sad to report he lost his battle on Friday and moved onto a better and more peaceful place. As is usually the case though, he has left behind so much sorrow and many of us wondering how this could happen so fast.

Doug was young, in his mid' 30's, he was the Superintendent of the school in the town where I live and a big part of our small community. He was married to a local girl, who I happen to work with at my school in the next town and they have a 5yr old son in our Kindergarten.

Doug was a vibrant and passionate man; always learning, always had an opinion and very much a larger than life personality. The kids loved him and he did everything he could to help them in life. He loved the latest gadgets and was the first person I knew to have a Kindle! As with most big personality types he had some who didn't warm to him, but I think everyone appreciated his efforts for a small town school struggling to survive. There is no doubt in my mind, the school would not have done as well without his leadership and especially his wonderful grant writing abilities.

He was the person who first suggested being a substitute teacher to me and then he employed me before anyone else and welcomed me into his school community. I probably wouldn't be working where I am now if it wasn't for Doug and his great suggestion and faith in me.

The Hubster will be forever grateful for the efforts Doug put it into helping his younger son, during a troubled patch. He was a former school board member and would often enjoy long chats about life and school politics with him, especially when Doug just needed an understanding friendly ear he could trust.

He was also a devoted dad with a son who is very much a 'mini-me' to look at, so now I will look at him and still see Doug.

On Tuesday 7th September he went to hospital after a very bad persistent headache would not leave him. He was assessed and quickly moved to one of the major OKC hospitals and there they discovered a large brain tumor. It just left us all in a state of shock.

They operated the next day, but could not get it all and the eventual prognosis was Doug had 18 months at best. It was devastating news for everyone. A few days later he suffered a mini stroke and was put on life support, but we all kept praying and believing miracles do happen. We just wanted him to have some more time with his family.

But it wasn't to be, he didn't wake again and then Friday Pneumonia developed and he passed in the early evening. It was just so sudden, 10 days from start to finish and he was too young, with so much life to live still. The Hubster and I have both shed tears at his loss and are still finding it very hard to process.

It has been a bad year in our small area for losses. You may remember we lost two young brothers who were Elementary students in a car accident in the Spring. Just a fortnight ago we lost an older lady I was friends with who found out she had pancreatic cancer and then was gone within two weeks. I went to sign the book and view her just so I could get some closure, again it was so sudden! It seems like almost daily we hear of someone either getting seriously sick or dying, there have been so many funerals here recently.

There is almost a blanket of sadness over the local community.

I see people shaking their heads in disbelief and trying to understand why this is happening so much right now.

When I arrived here I had my faith, it's always been there, but in England it was pushed to the back of my life. But here, having your faith and attending church is everywhere, people wear their religious convictions like a badge of pride.

Personally I am not one to quote religious verse or discuss my beliefs, and we are infrequent church goers at the moment. We both happen to believe we don't need to be in church to prove our faith. How we act towards others, how we conduct ourselves and what we know we believe, is what we'll be judged on ultimately.

I have prayed more in the past 10 days then I have in many months. In fact I would say I have been clinging to my faith or this would make no sense. A man has died way too young, a little boy has been left without a dad, family and friends are bereft. All I can think is "why"?

My only comfort right now is coming from believing there is a God and he knows what he is doing.

21 comments:

Sherri said...

Oh Sarah, how horrible!! I feel for that man's wife and young son. I know your faith will carry you through this very emotional and trying time. Prayers and hugs for everyone!

Mary said...

Sarah, having grown up in a small town I think losses are felt strongly across the community. My heart goes out to you and the people feeling the loss of so many loved ones. ((hugs))

Vickie said...

{{HUGS}} My prayers are with the family and friends.

Expat mum said...

Goodness gracious, what a tragedy! No time at all for anyone to wrap their minds around the prognosis let alone say their goodbyes. Very sad indeed Sarah. My sympathies.

Sylvia K said...

This is indeed so heartbreaking, Sarah! I haven't been a church goer in many, many years, but I have always had faith and that is what has kept me going through difficult times. As with the others, my heart goes out to you and all of your friends who have lost so much, so quickly. My prayers and hugs are with you and the others feeling such devastating loss.

Sylvia

gigihawaii said...

When it rains, it pours, doesn't it? So many deaths in such a short period of time can wrench a small community from complacency.

This is a reminder to live each moment as if it were your last. Be kind to everyone, because he or she may be taken from you suddenly.

Take care, Sarah, and know that I care!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

We have both faced a tragedy of losing friends much too soon in their young lives this past month.
It makes you question 'why'....
My thoughts and prayers are with his family, left to deal with his loss and the struggles they will have to face with their dad, and husband no longer in their lives.
I can only believe there is a reason and God knows the answer..
{{Hugs}} to you my sweet friend, I know you will offer help, in this time of need.
He is at peace, of that I'm sure.
Jo
x

Carolina said...

This news made me think of your post. Its the kind of story to bring us hope on good things:
http://okne.ws/aBwhu7

Pam said...

So very sad. Having lost family members when they were a very young age (brother/nephew), I totally identify with you questioning the "why". But, in my own long search for answers ... have come to the conclusion that people have always died early deaths. 100 years ago, he might have been thrown from his horse. Or sailed across the ocean and never came home. Or it would have been a typhoid epidemic. The causes of the deaths are different, but nature has a balance all its own to keep. So these older folks that keep hanging on and kicking, a total blessing. The only way I can deal with the personal pain of such events is to think of a larger history. We never know the number of our days. Remember Queen Elizabeth's speech when she was crowned? "My life, whether it be short or long, shall be in service to my country." I love that line and the stoic approach.

Pam said...

So very sad. Having lost family members when they were a very young age (brother/nephew), I totally identify with you questioning the "why". But, in my own long search for answers ... have come to the conclusion that people have always died early deaths. 100 years ago, he might have been thrown from his horse. Or sailed across the ocean and never came home. Or it would have been a typhoid epidemic. The causes of the deaths are different, but nature has a balance all its own to keep. So these older folks that keep hanging on and kicking, a total blessing. The only way I can deal with the personal pain of such events is to think of a larger history. We never know the number of our days. Remember Queen Elizabeth's speech when she was crowned? "My life, whether it be short or long, shall be in service to my country." I love that line and the stoic approach.

Kay said...

I'm so sorry, Sarah. How hard it is to have so much loss in such a short time. My heart goes out to that poor family and the community.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with his family and your community. My mother always said that bad things don't come from God. Sometimes in life, bad things happen to good people, but God didn't send them. Just a thought.

Iota said...

Oh gosh, it sounds overwhelming.

I struggle with the idea that God is behind every good and bad thing alike, and that's everything is part of a big plan we can't see. I more go with the teaching that the world is somehow a fallen world, not as it is meant to be. That we are in it at a particular period of its evolution, and that one day it will be perfected.

But none of this is intellectually or emotionally satisfying at times like this.

Limey said...

Such sad news — I'm so sorry. Your town has suffered such losses recently. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Thank you everyone for your words, thoughts and wisdom.

Pam yours in particular struck a chord, you are so right.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Well said.

My Father in Law died suddenly three years ago. He was also a larger than life guy who struggled mightily to help the little town he lived in. He was much older than your friend but we still wonder why?

Daryl said...

Having seen how awful it can be on both the individual suffering cancer and/or tumors and the family, I would say that both your friends who passed quickly were lucky not to linger .. its harder on those left behind but truth is, its for the best ..I send you hugs of comfort ...

NorthernTeacher said...

My husband has this site:

http://www.lightacandle.co.uk/

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh Sarah, so very sorry for your loss and the community and his family. That is just too young and very tragic.

Mom Mayhem says: said...

So very sad -He sounds like a great man. Condolences to everyone affected.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I am so sad to hear of the passing of a friend to you and your husband. And especially so sad to hear of the death of such a young and valuable man. jan