Birth. Life. Death.
And if it proceeds as it should, that "life" part should be reasonably long.
It also helps, when the "death" part happens, if the life part also makes living better for others.
Obviously, it doesn't always unfold the way we hope.
Some of the saddest days of my career were those when I'd carry a very sick or injured youngster in the helicopter, then observe parents as they watch life slowly slip away from their child.
We naturally grieve when we lose loved ones, but if those departed family members or friends have "run a good race" and frequently put smiles on the faces of others, that grieving is mostly for ourselves, knowing we'll not have the pleasure of their company any more.
When a young person dies we not only lose that personal contact, we lose the promise of what might have been.
I'm headed back to Indianapolis this weekend to reunite my Mother with my Dad.
I'm grieving because I'm selfish and will miss our conversations, the ability to say "Hey Mom, what was that guy's name?"; the LOVE.
But I'm comforted by the fact that Mom's life-parade proceeded as it should have...indeed, lasted longer than anyone could have expected.
Butterfly kisses Mom...
You put smiles on lots of faces.
You ran a great race.