Back in my early twenties I worked for a software development company. We were all pretty young, between twenty and thirty years old. There was a short period where a couple of employees lost their grandparents. I remember Tyler, one of the operations managers said to me that when you're in your twenties, that's about the time your grandparents pass away.
Of course, he was speaking in generalities.
Tyler also said that in your forties--roughly--is when you start to lose your parents.
This past week I had two friends lose their fathers.
Tough week for fathers.
Back when Tyler and I talked, I had already lost all four of my grandparents and my father. And I wasn't even twenty-five. Maybe it's because I lost my father when I was really young, but I've taken note how people react when they lose their parents as adults--especially fathers. On the one hand, they knew their fathers much better than I knew my father when he passed away. They had opportunities I never had. I envy them that.
But on the other hand, because they knew them better, the pain is worse. To every action there's an opposite and equal reaction. So, the grief is a direct result of how much they were loved, how much they'll be missed. The greater the grief, the greater the love.
Growing up after having lost a parent, you feel like you're different from the other kids. And you are. But, even though more and more of my friends and others my age are now experiencing a loss like I've had for decades, it's still not the same. I'm still different. Even though I mourn for my friends, I hope they cherish the moments they had getting to know those great men. It's a gift, an honor, a blessing, and something I wish I could have done.