I had this thought a few months ago and tried to explain it to my Dad over the phone but he couldn't hear me very well. He asked me to write it down for him. I'm just now re-typing this scribbled note:
I've been assuming that we have this right to a "long" life - that is, 80 years or so. Everyone deserves that and anything shorter is an injustice; the person has been cheated.
Why do I have this righteous attitude though? Nothing is guaranteed! Every year of life is a gift.
Life is finite - in that lies how meaningful it is. If life were eternal, we'd certainly take it for granted. In the unpredictability of the length of our lives there's a certain ... power I guess. This isn't really what I'm trying to say. I want to flip my perspective from "he was taken from us too soon" to "we had 44 wonderful years - a 44-year-long gift, really." Drastic paradigm shift.
I'd like to rework this into something more uh, cohesive. But all the sentiments are there: I don't feel cheated. I feel lucky, I feel grateful.
At the same time, that doesn't stop me from missing him incredibly.