Death is a comedian.

You’re walking around one day, indifferent to the masses of people who die daily, and then something changes. Maybe you almost get hit by a car. Maybe you hear a story on the news that tugs at something in your chest. Maybe a friend or relative dies. All of a sudden death is everywhere.

Two weeks ago I found out my friend has cancer. She underwent emergency surgery and the doctors say she’ll be okay. She might even get to go home in a few days. Many doors have closed on her in the last two weeks but she’s alive, and that’s what counts, right?

Since that day I’ve seen death lurking everywhere. In the special folio in my morning paper that raises cancer awareness with heartwarming pictures of sick children. In the eyes of my friend as she tells me that her Grandfather has just passed away. In the squeaky toy lying on my floor just after my parents tell me my dog has cancer and may not be here in six months.

Each time you think you’re in the clear something else comes up. Hopefully not as bad as the last one but there are no guarantees.

What I try to keep in my mind are all the wonderful things that these friends and family and pets are. All of the smiles they’ve brought. All of the hugs they’ve given. All of the lasting impressions they’ve left on the people around them. We remember people for the lives they live, not the way they end them.

When death is joking with me I remember that it is not death that has the last word; it is life.