Death is the Greatest Reminder of Life

So pay attention.

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Earlier this week, on the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I wrote about why we should never forget the events of that horrific day, as they can serve as a reference point for life’s fragility.

Just a few days later, I’m worried I’ve already forgotten.

Last night I saw on social media that a man by the name of Sean Adams passed away.

Adams was a radio host in Austin, TX. I only knew of him tangentially.

He used to work for, a site that covers the sports teams of my alma mater/obsession, the University of Texas, and he’d randomly appear in other news coverage about the Longhorns. Word of his passing filled my Twitter feed.

The cause of his death was an apparent heart attack.

But for all anyone knew, he was in good health. He hosted his daily show yesterday morning, and was then scheduled to fly to Los Angeles to cover UT’s big football game this weekend against the University of Southern California.

He is survived by his wife and two children. He was 46.

That’s just a little over six years older than I am. (My birthday is next month, and I will not claim 40 until I have no choice but to.)

A decade or so ago, my equilibrium was rocked when I started noticing that reports of celebrity/notable deaths included people the same age as, and sometimes younger than, my parents. I’m incredibly close to my mom and dad, and I couldn’t imagine a world without them. I still can’t.

Now I’ve seen what inevitably will be the first of many reports of people in my own age range dying.

Yet I remain unfazed.

Don’t get me wrong…I hate the thought of someone being taken too early, and I shudder for the living left behind.

But those reactions register more as polite acknowledgment than legitimate reflection.

And after hearing the news last night, I almost immediately reverted back to lamenting the meaningless, like how poorly the best player on my fantasy football team performed.

I’ve actually been surprised by how little this has moved my emotional needle.

I get that I didn’t know this guy, in person or even as a public personality, and that, hopefully, I’d have had a more sensitive response if it had hit closer to home.

But for as long as I can remember, I have not only felt young and, mortality-wise, invincible, I have felt as if my life was out in front of me.

In reality, though, I’m right in the middle of it.

And in a New York minute, it could all come to an end — just like it did for this man.

How quickly we forget…

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