Why do you think it takes someone dying for us to finally realize the brevity of life? I mean, we can be blissfully ignorant most times, can’t we? Someone we’ve known for our entire lives is someone we’ll know for the entire rest of our lives, or so we think without consciously thinking it. It’s just the way things are, but in the blink of an eye things can change. A diagnosis can happen, and we put on a brave face because how can it possibly be? It’s surreal… until the unthinkable happens and we have to cope with the loss of someone we thought couldn’t be lost.
I admit I fall into this trap way too often, thinking that the status quo will always be the status quo, but things change, and I am forced to change with them. People die and I’m challenged to deal with it, to keep on surviving. Because that’s what we all are, don’t you know? We’re survivors each and every single day because none of them are promised to us. The end of today isn’t even promised to us, but we live our lives as if it is. We waste too much time doing nothing of consequence, not spending time with people we love because we’ve slipped into these patterns of taking each other for granted.
Then time is up and the aftermath wakes us up, as if we were the ones who were dead and we’re finally coming alive. The mourning sweeps through us like a wave, toppling us from the ledge where we felt we were safe. Now it’s fair game, and we know we could be next, or the people we love. Isn’t it sad that it takes death to remind us that we should be alive? We go to the funeral, to the wake, to the calling hours, to pay our respects to the family that is shell-shocked no matter how long the person has been dying. We pay our respects to them, so why not pay those same respects to each other when we’re both still alive? Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. I need to take my own advice.
Because life is short, no matter who you are.