Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Twenty Eight Years Old

Actor Heath Ledger died today. Technically yesterday, I suppose, since it's 1am here. It caught me off-guard really, which struck me as odd since I'm not exactly this huge fan of his. I liked him in A Knight's Tale and somewhat enjoyed Casanova...and only recently found out that the hideous picture of The Joker was actually him. And yet I couldn't turn away from news reports and I found myself sad over the news. Possibly because it's a name I know, possibly because I realize that as I get older, I'll recognize more and more names of people who die (when I was younger, I hardly knew any of the names), possibly because of the fact he's leaving behind an 18 month old little girl who will only know her daddy by his movies and interviews...but honestly, it wasn't until Wes said something that I realized why it struck me so much. Heath Ledger was 28 when he died. Why is it that his age is what got to me? And what comment did Wes make that made me realize why his age was the thing that made me sad? Wes said, "he was my age." Wes rarely has anything to say about celebrity deaths. The most he ever talked about one was Steve Irwin. Not that Wes went on about Heath Ledger...that was really all he said on it. I doubt he meant it to be as personal as it sounded, but it's quite something to hear of a person your age makes you think about your own life. What if it were cut short this very instant?

My heart grieved for Ledger's former fiancee, Michelle Williams. I realize that they were no longer romantically linked, but she's still the mother of his child. She is 27 years old, the age I'll be in two and a half weeks. That makes her my age. I'm sure our similarities end there. But I couldn't imagine me, a near 27 year old, hearing about the death of my 28 year old husband...the man I share my life with. What would I do? I know the pat answers about being strong and moving on, blah blah blah. That's a lot easier to say than actually live through. I hated those answers when struggling to deal with the grief over my grandfather's death. But this would be my husband. I realize that he would be in heaven, but there is a real devastation over losing your spouse....the person you've become one with. It's no longer "one"...but tragedy struck and tore it in two. This is part of the reason why I've become so afraid of death.

What saddens me even more is the evidence that Mr. Ledger was not a Christian. We know how this story ends. And there is where the story differs between 28 year old Heath Ledger and 28 year old Wesley King. I thought to myself several times this afternoon and evening, "Heath knows the Truth now, whether or not someone shared it with him." It breaks my heart that there are people who only know the Truth upon death. Wes and I are blessed beyond belief to be saved by the grace of God. We absolutely don't deserve it. But for us there is hope, there is a peace we have...there is life for us. So if I were to receive word that my husband passed away, I know where he'd be. That wouldn't make life on earth without him any easier, but at least there is hope in the midst of devastation rather than a hopeless devastation. It boggles my mind that God would choose to save broken and poor Wes & Mary, rather than rich, famous, and influential Heath Ledger. And it's an eye opener too, because I sometimes sit here frustrated at how easy these celebrities have it...never needing to worry about money, not living paycheck to paycheck, not having to put off taking care of a medical concern because of finances, adoptions are's enough to make me want to cry sometimes. But then something like this happens and I'm reminded that Wes and I have been given something far greater than any of that. Why us? Why did God choose to save and protect us? I don't know. But boy am I glad He did!!

Twenty eight years old. That's my husband's age. That's Wes. Life is so short.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed and am going to snuggle up next to my husband. There just doesn't seem enough of a lifetime to do that.

Photo by Mary King (me)


Anonymous said...

it must seem very strange as well to outlive all one's friends. i see much older people that have lived longer than all those that they knew that are their own age.

david mcmahon said...

What a powerful post, Mary. I agree with you entirely about cherishing our time with loved ones - which is why my kids get hugged and kissed several times a day.

mama craver said...

Hey Mrrrr,

You just never know when the Lord says, "It's time!" Leave a memory that will last a lifetime like "hug each other for me!"
That will stay with you forever!

Love you bunches!

Mary said...

Nancy, Wes & I discussed that when we were recently talking about how long people used to live before God numbered the max years people could live and how the oldest people still haven't passed 120 years. But we were thinking...would we really want to live that long? After all, it's uncommon for people to live that long which means you'd outlive so many people you'd know. I think that would be really hard for me. I couldn't even imagine outliving someone who died so young. I think about it now with Wes...he and I have become one, it's impossible for me to think of outliving him, especially if he were to die young.

Mary said...

David, what a blessing that is for your children! Those are memories they will carry with them their entire lifetime!!!

Mary said...

Hi Mom!! I'm so excited you're here!
Your comment about not knowing when it's time really struck me. While his death is assumed to be "accidental", Heath Ledger's death was not accidental in God's eyes. This was known before the beginning of time. I think about that in relation to natural death, accidental death, suicide, and murder...those are not surprises to God, He is not caught off guard like we are. He knows about these things before they happen!

And yet...we don't know. So it's important to create those memories, as you said. I think that's part of the reason why I've become so camera happy, it's a visual reminder of those memories.

Craver Vii said...

Good post, Mrrr. Soli Deo gloria.

I hope David knows how good he's got it. My own children are afraid of me.

Ma Craver and I were out on a date yesterday, and they showed a trailer to the new Batman movie. It was all about the Joker (Heath). We only saw Batman briefly in the background.

Mary said...

hahahaha oh goodness Dad, that photo is hilarious!!

I'd be interested to know when the Batman trailer was made. I know the role of the Joker has been a huge deal since the new movie was first announced. I can't believe it took me so long to find out who played him! I know there are some tshirts that are being sold for the movie opening...proceeds are going to Ledger's favorite charity.