Why life is better when you can’t control it

Right now my family is waiting for my grandfather to die. He had a heart attack two weeks ago that tore an irreparable hole between ventricles. Doctors put him on hospice care and we have all been gathering in Birmingham, Alabama, to say goodbye.

Waiting for someone to die is in some ways waiting for someone to be born. You know the time will come. You may have an approximate idea of when that will be. But no one can tell you for sure, nor exactly how, nor what will happen next.

It’s natural to feel anxious by such lack of specificity, in death or any other human endeavor.

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Things We Overcome


A breakup.

A divorce.

The money you had to spend to replace your leaky garbage disposal, your broken thermostat, your refrigerator that died on Christmas Eve Eve.

A hangover.

A fight with your best friend.

A fight with your spouse.

A fight with your child.

Someone saying something mean about you on the internet.

A lunatic shooting up a school.

A lunatic shooting up a movie theater.

A lunatic shooting up a shopping mall.

Burning the main course.

The dog eating the caramel cake as it cools on the counter top.

The dog passing away.

Losing your job.

Moving away.

Missing your family on Christmas.