Dear Randy Pausch,
I personally related to your book The Last Lecture in a way very close to my heart. My father died in a car accident when I was only thirteen years old, reading your book made me think about him constantly, but that is a good thing thinking about someone who has died is a way of making them live on after their gone. Some of the lessons and heartfelt stories that you put in your story so that your children could read about later and learn even after your gone touched me in the way that maybe if my dad had known, maybe he would've taught me some of the same lessons or similar ones.
While I was reading your book it made me ponder the thought of which is better, dying suddenly without notice, no time to say goodbye, puffing your family into shock but, no suffering and little to no pain. Or is it better to know beforehand so that you do have time to say goodbye and make amends with people that needed to clear themselves of that before you had to go, but then your family has to sit there and watch you suffer and slowly drift away to nothing, sometimes that takes out more time and energy than the recuperating process from the shock. I think that there are pros and cons to both ways, and in both ways you are losing someone close to you, and that is a sad thought, but a good thought if you just remember that they are in a better place.
While reading your book I was also thinking about when would probably the best age to lose a parent, around fifteen years, forty years, or only been two and not have any direct memories of that person. If you were around fifteen years old, that's enough time to remember the person and the many lessons they taught you, but that's not old enough really to have learned them all, and being a teenager is a very delicate age already, and to have to go through that also. If forty it's definitely hard to lose the person who has raised you, but they've already done their job, and lived a long life. If you are two and don't remember the person, the main thing you'll miss them for is not ever getting the chance to know them personally, and not have any memories of their own. It's always hard either way it happens.
One point for you to not worry about is how your kids are going to grow up. They will have their times, and so will their mother, but they will be there for each other and end up growing stronger as a family because of that. I know my family has, and we live each day as it comes, taking it one step at a time. When certain situations come up I like to think of how my dad would've reacted to the situation, what he would've said and done. It helps me make good choices, and not do things that I shouldn't be doing. I also think a lot of the time about how hard it was for my dad to see that his little girl was growing up, and how much harder it would've been for him now that I'm in high school, I've started to date, and soon will have my license and will be driving. Maybe your kids will think of you in those situations from the many stories their mother will tell them about you.
No matter how you lose a person, or what age you are when it happens, it is something that will stay with you and influence you for your entire life. Losing someone is always a depressing topic to think about, but always remember they wouldn't want you to be sad, and that they are in a better place.