Monday, June 29, 2015

The Future

Would you want to know your future?

If someone today could tell you where you’d be in a year, would you want to know?

Would it change your decisions?  Would it change your perspective?  Perhaps.  But for good or ill? 

What if you were enjoying a trip with your family, living each day to its fullest?

Bryan at Landstuhl Castle, Germany, July 2011

Would you want to know that one year from that date, people would be attending your funeral?

Some of you are saying, yes, you would want to know, for better or worse, what is coming.  You’d make plans.  You’d do things.  You’d say things.  Others would rather just deal with things as they come.  There’s no sense in worrying about things you can’t change.

It’s been three years since Bryan died, and I can say unequivocally that I am thankful that we didn’t know what was coming.  We lived his last year (with the exception of the last four weeks of his life) just like we had lived the years before it.  We worked, we played, we enjoyed the ups and struggled with the downs. 

Might we have done things differently if we had known he wouldn’t be here?  Sure.  We probably would have spent the last year trying to “get things in order.”  But I don’t necessarily think that the decisions we would have made would have left us any better off.  We would have been very tempted to make life-limiting decisions, missing out on the everyday happinesses as we tried to control things beyond our control.

There were things that were a hassle in the immediate days after Bryan died.  Passwords, for one.  I knew some, but not all, of the passwords.  And everything these days has a password.  It took me a week to unearth the will.  (Bryan wasn’t organized.  I can say that because he’s not around to contradict me, but, trust me, he wasn’t.  The will was in a basket on a shelf in the closet, not in the file labeled “WILL.”)  But those are little things and they all worked out in the end.

Now that I’m a full three years out from those immediate grief-filled days, I know that we couldn’t have foreseen all the changes that Bryan’s death would necessitate.  And if I had known, I probably would have collapsed from the seeming enormity of it all.  Instead, I’ve made those changes over time, and in many ways, we’re a very different family than we were then.  I’m certainly a different person, and my children have grown so much that it’s hard to remember what it was like having seven “little people.”  There is no way we could have foreseen those changes and prepared for them, even if we had known the future.

Instead, we lived life each day.  Bryan always lived like life was short, so we got a lot of living done.  We took six young children on an overseas trip when I was pregnant because Bryan said, “You never know how much time you have!”  He didn’t want to wait till it was more practical.  He wanted to live NOW. 

The whole Bain family
plus my sister Sara
plus Austin in Mommy's tummy
in Germany, July 2011

So should you know the future?  If you’re truly living in the present, you don’t need to know what’s around the bend.

{For my reflections on the past anniversaries of Bryan's death, see
First Anniversary: One Year
Second Anniversary: From the Outside Looking In}

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