Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Celebrating life

I have been to more than 20 funerals in my 23 years of life. I have witnessed the aftermaths of the death of friends that I have loved dearly, a father who I never had the chance to meet, all of my grandparents, kids under the age of 18 who had so much life ahead of them, and almost every pet ive ever had. People who know me well, know that I speak of death oftentimes in a way that is morbidly candid. I have been there. I have felt the anguish of losing someone too soon. I have seen young bodies in caskets and obsessed over the idea that this isnt the way it is supposed to be.

Because it isnt.

And I have seen the effects of these tragedies on other people too. The countless myspace blogs, the letters, the tears, the days on end that are devoted to the memory of lost loved ones, the high school students who cant get through the day because the wound is so fresh. I have seen shattered hearts, as people try to pick up the pieces, and innumerable license plate frames and stickers, "in loving memory of...."

Death is powerful and tragic and unpredictable, and yet...so expected. We live in fragile, temporary, bodies, and someday we will all die. And it always hurts the people around us, and it is always tragic. Its funny how we take it though, its as if it isnt supposed to happen, and when it does, we panic. We pour our entire beings into honoring the dead. Scraps of paper become mementos and we wallow in the sorrow that comes with losing a loved one. The most common statement ive heard is "If I had only had more time." If we had more time with them, we would tell them this, or give them that, or apologize for this.

And yet, there are so many others around us that we take for granted, people we still have time with. People whose phone calls we forget to return. People whose emails we ignore and who we break plans with. We forgot how temporary we are, until someone dies and we freak out and overcompensate, and frankly, it breaks my heart.

What if we actually celebrated life? What if we celebrated the people around us and spent more time loving eachother and less time criticizing one another? What if, even for one day a year, we thanked God for one another, for allowing us to be alive and on earth for one more year? And what if, when our eyes filled with tears at funerals, it wasnt because we hadnt loved them well? What if you could look at the people around you and say, "If that person died tomorrow I would know in the deepest parts of my heart that I loved them well, spent quality time with them, served them wholly, and, man, I cant wait to see them in heaven?" What would the world look like if we loved eachother deliberately? What if we did this in loving memory of every person we've ever known?

You matter to me. And more importantly, you matter to God. From the moment of conception, and well after death, into all of eternity, every soul is valuable and worth it to Him.
And ultimately, the best way to love Him is to love eachother.
In honor of humans, I am going to write tributes to ordinary heroes, people, dead and alive, who have touched my life in an extraordinary way and would otherwise go unnoticed. I hope you will do the same. Lets celebrate life together.


Rebecca Louise. said...

What a lovely way to celebrate others lives. I am training to be a nurse and I have seen death on many occassions. I am not so much frightened of death itself. It is the way I go that scares me.


Rebecca Louise. said...

Oh...I 'nominated' you for a bloggy award as I think your blog has great attitude! =]