Had some pretty heavy coincidences recently. In my post of June 9th, a friend said “I could be dead in 10 minutes, so why not give myself some pleasure and have another dessert or third glass of wine.” Of course he hopes this possible reality doesn’t come true.

But while I was hitting tennis balls with my son yesterday afternoon, the man friend of a woman I know did die unexpectedly. I think it was a heart attack. I spoke to people who had seen this man just a few hours before he passed on. We are shocked and numb.

The suddenness of it is so traumatic, so startling. It makes one want to savor every moment possible, suck as much nectar as we can from the flowers of our lives. And when it happens to people we know, the nearness of it emphasizes the fragility of life much more than we care to recall.

Today at tennis, my friend Francois told two women at the indoor court an amazing story that had happened a couple of years ago at that same court. He had been playing with a friend, Cliff, as his teammate. The score was 6-6, and then the tie break was won by Francois and Cliff. They did it 7-0. Both men were very excited. Someone asked if the group wanted to stop or play some more, and Cliff said let’s play another set. He turned from the net and collapsed. Francois was unable to catch him, and he died before he was on the ground.

Then one of the women said that she had been there that day and had used her sweat pants to cover him and keep him warm until the ambulance came. But it was too late.

So if life can be so arbitrary, and death can be so abrupt and unpredictable, does it really make sense to not eat an extra dessert or two? What the hell? Who cares? Why care? These are legitimate questions that most of us answer by our actions.

In my case, I played over five hours of sports in just 18 hours: two hours hitting tennis balls yesterday afternoon with my son, who can really be powerful; 1½ hours of singles this morning (I won 6-0, 6-2), followed by another hour of spontaneous mixed doubles with those two women who were waiting for a court (my team won 6-2, 6-2); and then 70 minutes more of squash practice, in which I worked on back wall returns and increased consecutive backhand volleys from my old record of 14 to 18 and forehand volleys grew from 22 to 28. I am a bit tired. But it’s good tired, and even if I might be distracting myself from everyday sadness and fear, I am happy to be active and alive.