57. Gone Too Soon.

July 13, 2020

Today the headlines catch my attention and my heart. Kelly Preston, dead at the age of 57. Gone too soon. Breast cancer stole her future, and the memories still to be made with her family. 

I know this loss. I know this ache. I know this number, this age. 

My mother died at 57, to the same disease and fate. 

57 should be the age of grandchildren. The age to plan retirement. The age to start living more and caring less. The age to take more trips and more personal days. 

57 should be the age of fun, travel, volunteering and trying new hobbies. An age for exploring, reflection and creativity. 

57 should not be the age written next to her name announcing her death. 

57 should not be the age written in her obituary.

But it is. 

And now, reading the latest headlines I’ve found myself carried away by a number. Numbed by its presence. Paralyzed by its symbolism. 

There is no easy or perfect number for death. It will always feel too soon. But this one feels so premature it powers my grief with anger, fury, and disbelief. 

There is so much in a number, and this one feels a lot like…

Gone forever. 

Never again.

Lost.

Taken.

Permanent absence.

Missed indefinitely. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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