“It’s been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for funeral on Friday. You’re never really prepared even when you know it’s coming.”

I got this in an email from a friend the other day. It was an older family member… not tragic in any way, and not even unexpected, as she said.

But still. “You’re never really prepared even when you know it’s coming.”

If feeling unprepared despite knowing it’s coming is a truth, splash the cold water on your face about how often death comes out of the blue.

It’s probably the makeup of being human — coupled with the finality of death that is hard to anticipate — that we’ll always feel unprepared for it all. So no need to fight that one! It’s gonna suck, and feel too soon, and have us wishing we felt more prepared. No way around it.

But still. Having a healthy relationship with mortality might be our only real preparation. It only feels weird or perverse at first; once you’ve allowed death a place at the conversation table, it’s not so foreign or forbidden. And need I say… once you’ve pictured your own goodbye celebration… you begin just the tiniest bit to accept death as the natural occurrence it is. And if you’ve made some concrete plans for the farewell ceremony, be it party or somber, that too will take some of the edge off the fierceness of the loss.

We’ll still feel unprepared for the most part. I can’t argue with my friend’s experience. It just seems all the more reason to not deny, avoid, suppress, or in any other way put the kabosh on death talk.

I can’t help but fantasize that if we let it be okay, normal (even while coming as a total shock at times), we’d have a smidge of an easier time with saying goodbye all the many times we are asked to do so.