Monday, September 3, 2012


For the third time in less than a month someone I know has buried an adult child who died way too young. The most recent, and the most personal, was my nephew Matt Den Bleyker, who passed away suddenly from a chronic illness, at the tender age of just 25.

Matt Den Bleyker (1986-2012) and Bella

Too often our hectic and rushed lives make talking with friends and loved ones a hurried affair. Phone calls are brief, letter writing is a lost art, emails can be impersonal, and text messages are restricted to just 140 characters. It's worth stopping for a moment and thinking about that.  If there's someone you care about, let them know. No one ever says "I told him/her that I loved them too many times."  More commonly, people wish they had just one more chance to let the deceased know how much they cared. We often get caught up in the things of everyday life and put off meeting or calling those closest to us, with the best of intentions that "I'll do it tomorrow."  So if you love someone, tell them.  That goes double for the men who say "me too" on the phone when whomever they are talking to tells them they love them.  Do you think anyone overhearing that doesn't know what's being  said?

While I am an atheist and hold no religious or spiritual beliefs, I've always been impressed by the truth of a passage in the Hindu religious epic The Mahabarata, which goes

"Question: And what is the greatest mystery of all?

Answer:  That Death stalks us everyday, yet we live as though we were immortal."

If we work hard at it and are lucky enough to get a good roll of the genetic dice, we just might squeeze
out nine decades wandering the surface of this rocky inner planet orbiting a mediocre star in the outer part of one of the arms of the insignificant Milky Way spiral galaxy.  Often it's less, sometimes way too less.  So use it as best you can and enjoy the ride. And if you love someone, stay in ouch with them and take -- no make -- the time to tell them. You will never regret it.


  1. So true. Makes me realize there are some benefits to getting old -- such as increasing awareness of mortality. Might as well make the most of what is left!

    And nice to find your blog ...

  2. I went to PT school in Orlando with matt. I am so sorry for your loss. Matt was a fun guy. He was all around a fun guy and would be the one to gather the classes up to have a get together every thurday at wing house or the ale house or on the wknds to have a get together at someones apartment or a place called "scoops" some of my best memories were that year, soon after i became addicted to opiates and almost too late i realized how prescious a happy sober life can be. I been clean over a year and am making new memirable moments and while addicted, i could never do so, with my addiction i can learn to appreciate life in a way most dont. I recognize the sun! The blue sky! Fresh air! I recognize a great night in with my girlfriend who makes sobriety so easy. And so muxh more... matts aunt is so right, please appreciate life and those in it, help those w help, pray for those who need prayer bc i do believe and know how powerful prayer is bc if i didnt have my mom praying daily and family and friends praying, i truely believe i would not be here today. Able to enjoy the little things in life, i do need to appreciate a phone call more often, i never answer, i always kust text and this writing opened my eyes deeply. Once again, i am sorry for your loss and i wish u and the famiky best of luck.