I often write these blogs from the porch of my house - the first 30 minutes of the day before I grab some breakfast and start working. During this time, I usually pause for moments of thought and occasionally wave at a passerby who happens to be walking in front of my house.
Just yesterday, I saw someone I vaguely recognized to be the neighbor who lives behind me (we're still relatively new to the neighborhood), so I tossed my laptop aside and walked out to introduce myself; we turned out to have quite a bit in common and I quickly started asking question about his family.
He said, "I have four kids and my wife, but she passed away last night."
I froze, staring at his face to see if he was serious. As his eyes glossed over with tears, I told him how sorry I was for him. She had just reached the end of a brutal battle with spinal cancer - her spine had broken in 7 different places, he told me. I've walked a close friend through a similar situation before - the end is strangely bittersweet; the loss, combined with the release and rest.
Perspective is everything. The circumstances of this world are relative to our own experiences. Over time, the shock of meeting my new neighbor whose wife died literally the night before will fade and the circumstances of life will feel "big" once again unless I approach my outlook and perspective with intention; purposefully resetting it each morning until I can put events in their rightful place.