There are a million little thoughts on death that stampede around your mind when you get news of a loved one’s passing. Initially, it almost feels like the wind gets knocked out of you. This then proceeds to become pure and utter shock.
The Thoughts that Run Around in Your Head
You think about how you’ll never see that person again in this life, how all the memories you’ve ever made together are now permanently past-tense.
It soon becomes impossible to even know what to think or how to act. Are you allowed to ever have joy in your life again? And if so, what’s the grace period you have to put on it?
You feel selfish for somehow making this about yourself. You move on to thinking about all of the things your acquaintance is going to miss. You ponder the family they’ll never have or the one they left behind. You think about the lessons they’ll never get to teach. It’s heartbreaking.
Death is a part of life, but it’s hard to recover from a loss and make life a part of death. Can losing someone close to you reallyhave an uplifting, enlivening effect on a person?
I think so.
Viewing Death through a Lens of Opportunity
I believe that death is an opportunity for those impacted to rally together and take a step upward. It’s one of the hardest things a person or group of people could ever do, but nothing builds a person up quite like breaking them down.
I lost a dear friend recently, someone I’ve known since middle school. Her death was a complete shock and obviously very difficult to fathom.
These are the moments that determine whether myself and the group impacted by her death will cause us to wilt, or to rise a little higher collectively.
In a way, we can honor those who pass on by allowing them to be instruments in building us up in dark times.
So that’s what I am going to do now. I will mourn. I will walk with a somber heart for some time. I will shed tears. But I will honor my friend by appreciating life a little more. I’ll pay my respects to her by emulating her great qualities.
Death isn’t the end of a life, not for the person or the affected.