Life is short.  I have carried this oft-articulated mantra in my heart for more years than I can remember, having experienced the gravity of its true meaning when my dad died suddenly, in mid-life.

Sadly, last week, those old familiar words bubbled up to the surface once more, making their gravity felt.  A friend of mine— a beautiful soul with a fearless spirit—lost her battle to cancer. She was only 48. Carrie was an accomplished writer and market strategist who reveled in being a wife and mother to her two young children. As I gazed into the eyes of her grief-stricken husband while offering my condolences, my heart ached.

Amidst the flowers and the photographs and the outpouring of emotion were those words echoing in my head—life is short.

The next day—playing out on the world stage—came word that actor James Gandolfini had died suddenly.  This time the words, still fresh in my mind, tumbled out of my mouth—life is short.

When it comes to life and death there is no denying this one, inescapable truth—we are not piloting our own planes.  Nor does an omnipotent captain alert us when we are about to make our descent.  Our final approach is ultimately a mystery.

All we can do is show up.  Be present.  Enjoy the moments…because life, is indeed, short.