My Client Just Died

After several weeks of phone tag and texts, we finally arranged to meet at my house. She’s in her 60s, glasses, a little scattered, but very nice. As we try to talk over my kids running around the house, she explains the project and her goals. I tell her what we can do with social media, email newsletters, a website and video. She loves all the ideas and I say I’ll send her a contract that night.

A few days later we meet again, signed contract and check in hand. I’ve already done the website for her in good faith, and she loves it. I tell her what I need next for the project, she hands me a check, and we go our separate ways.

Days later she’s in the hospital. Doctors say she needs open heart surgery. They perform the surgey to discover a mass in her heart that’s inoperable. She had no idea. After surgery she never wakes up.

Today, she died.

Her signed contract is sitting on my night stand. I never got what I needed to finish the project. But, I guess that doesn’t matter now.

Let me take a moment here and acknowledge something: Cancer sucks. It has taken my high school choral teacher who led me to a degree in music. It took one of my Mom’s best friends. It has affected close friends and their families. It has taken people like Steve Jobs. Oh, and it took my wife’s grandmother earlier this week. She won the first two bouts with cancer, but not this one.

I’m not exactly sure what kind of research is happening right now in regards to cancer, but let’s do some more. And quickly.

While it’s difficult enough dealing with two close deaths in the same week, there are also hundreds dying in the Middle East, and a few hundred more died when a plane got shot down over the Ukraine.

I honestly don’t know what to think. Perhaps the world is broken. But it seems like there are enough things in this world trying to kill us already. Maybe we shouldn’t help them.

The older I get, the less I care about what side is right. Which group has the moral high ground. In the end, if people are dying, something needs to change. I guess it’s easy to play the pacifist when you’re half a world away from these conflicts, but we are not half a world away from death.

Death is constant and sure. Sometimes it happens prematurely, unexpectedly; sometimes we know it’s coming. Either way, it’s tough. And while I surely don’t have the answers to fix the world’s problems, I know hundreds of people are sharing the same emotions across the globe. Seeing, hearing and feeling death.

Hunger, disease, accidents. There are plenty of things trying to kill us already. Let’s not add to the list.