Whenever someone I know dies, like most,Â I am saddened by the fact that I will never get to see or talk with them again. I also find that for days I can’t help but find myself thinking about my own death and how it will affect the people I know.
The human race generally doesn’t handle dying very well. We are all scared of it and even more scared to talk about it. No one knows quite the right way to talk to someone who is dying . We don’t know the right things to say as we fear that we will say something and it will invoke tears from that person. We walk on egg shells around them and weigh carefully the words we choose. After all, most of us feel that we can’t talk about anything fun or something in the future. Death is awkward and although it very well is, we should dive head first into itÂ and make sure we tell that person just how much they are loved and will be missed.
I think I realize now why I have been so scared of dying. At first I thought I would miss everyone but then after thinking about it, I ‘m dead so how can I miss anything. Then I thought about all I would leave behind and the things I could no longer do and then again I realized that all those things that I have been doing my whole life has been nothing but repetition. I wake, dress, eat , work, play, shower and sleep. I laugh, cry , hate and love. I collect things, way too many things, all of which are just for material pleasure. But its all just repetition everyday until we get ill or die. Nothing so different. And then it hit me. I fear that I will not leave my mark here on earth. I fear that my life would pass and no one would notice. Wouldn’t it be great to have been Abraham Lincoln. He lives on in almost every Americans life. He’s touched millions of people. His life meant something.
When people die its sad that the world doesn’t stop for one moment to recognize the loss. Life goes on like nothing happens. But then, as I always do, I think about it and when I do, I see that we all do matter. Maybe not on such a grand scale as Lincoln but to the few loved ones in our lives we leave our mark. They will remember our laughter, and sorrow, the good times and bad. The pictures of us will remind them who we were and what we meant to them. Songs will play and bring tears to our eyes in remembrance of a moment we shared when that song played.
I have lost a handful of people in my life that left a mark on me. Some of whom I never got the chance to tell just what they meant to me, but others who I was able to spend enough time with in the end to tell them just how much they touched and shaped my life. If there is one thing that I would hope for when I am dying, is that the people I know would come to me not in pity but to rejoice my life and what it meant to them. I need to know that my life meant something. That I was put here for a reason and that its okay to die because this world was a better place because of me.
I once read a book named “Tuesdays with Morrie”. For anyone who has ever read its inspirational words, you know just how remarkable Morrie was. For those who haven’t, it is about one mans dying wish to tell the world or whoever would listen, how he felt about love, life, friends, and especially dying. Stricken with ALS and doomed to a slow deliberating death, Morrie chose to allow the world to watch as his body fails him more and more until finally he passes. The story however shows us not to fear death but to make each moment until the end mean something. Share your feelings with loved ones. Tell them how you felt your whole life and what your life meant to you and how they helped shape the person you became.
I once wrote a letter to a dying friend. I didn’t know how to tell her what I wanted to and then she became too sick to have visitors but her daughter told me she would make sure that she received my words. I wanted her to know that her life meant something to me. That I appreciated all the things we shared over the years and how I was thankful for the way she treated me. That she was a friend that I would truly miss but would remember for the rest of my life. I wanted her to know that spending time with her made me a better person than I would have been if we never met. I wanted to make sure that she knew before she passed, how much she touched my life.
Just recently our family lost a very close friend. I didn’t know him as well as my sister did for she was who introduced him to our family some 25 years ago. However, over the last year or so I often sat one on one with him and talked politics, sports, business and such but one thing stood out more than anything else and it was the reason I cared so much for him. He spoke of my sister and how much he loved her and how important she was to him. How he would do anything for her because she was a special woman and he recognized how hard she worked for her children, husband and how little she asked for in return. His dying hurt my sister badly but I am sure that in his last days they spent meaningful time together and hopefully shared how much they meant to each other. Truly the way it should be.
Dying should not scare loved ones away. It should be embraced as a time for closure and celebration of that persons life, for after they pass, it will be too late to share those feelings together.
Just one man’s opinion
The Regular Guy