When I was a child I used to complain, the way kids do, that things that hadn’t gone my way were just not fair.” And my father, of course, would often respond that life’s not fair.
But once he said something else that has stuck with me. He said life’s not fair, and it’s usually unfair in your favor. That is, not just “stop whining” but “count your blessings and stop whining.”
My family has lost some deeply beloved members recently – a great-uncle and a great-aunt – and it seems terribly unfair that they were taken from us. And so I think back about what my father told me.
It’s unfair to lose someone so great, that you love so much. But it’s also unfair that other families don’t get to have relatives that great, and don’t get to know the relatives they do have for as long as we got to know ours. It’s unfair that other families can’t travel to a funeral to comfort each other in times of loss.
To lose someone you love is not just a reminder that life is capricious, but often that it has also given you far more than it has taken away.
We have lost people, and it hurts. But the inverse of that hurt is knowing how rich our lives have been for knowing them.