Nicholas, John and Shannon walked in silence along the waters edge dumbfounded by the news they just heard. A cold north wind was blowing. Shannon pulled her scarf tighter around her head, hoping that somehow it would protect her from the penetrating wind. It didn't. She still felt cold. At this moment nothing seemed warm her, not even her cashmere scarf.
Through her tears, Shannon asked the others, "It is real, isn't it, but how is it possible? We just saw Paul last night, he was so happy about his promotion at the fire department. Didn't we just talk about how life is fleeting, and you never know when your time will come, so you had better enjoy it while you can? It is not a dream, right? Didn't we just have this conversation?" Nicolas and John stopped, gazing at the water lapping at the shore's edge, not really knowing how to respond to Shannon. They were all in a state of shock.
Other questions began to form in their minds, like what plan did Paul have for his own death? Did he and his wife, Tracy, discuss what kind of service he wanted, and where he would like it to be held? Probably not, they surmised, because why, at 35, would you plan your own funeral? Why not, might be the better question?
We have seen this happen more times than we like to remember. Paul and Tracy had done a lot of planning in their lives, but the one involving death escaped their life process. It did however prompt Tracy, once she was healed from the loss of her husband, to begin the process for herself so that her children would not have to worry about her wishes in the future.