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Sunday, July 22, 2018

How Death Teaches Us to Live Fully

Too many deaths in the recent days reminded me that no one is promised a tomorrow. Their stories though painful reminded me of essential lessons in life.

The first lesson was from a young boy I didn’t know personally but whose death made me shed buckets of tears. I witnessed his battle and journey of bravery through his Facebook page which was regularly updated by his mom. Through him, I learned that death is a celebration of life- a well-lived life. It was hard to imagine the life of a young boy who fought cancer since three years old only to lose it at the end. However, through his positivity, he was able to transcend his pain and inspire others.

The second lesson was from the tragic death of a family of five. Five souls perished in a split second while they were on the way home from a vacation. The father and four daughters died instantly in a car crash leaving the mother as the only survivor. The heartbreaking story reminded me that every second of life is of infinite value. Living life to the fullest is tough because it is scary to make mistakes. However, these can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. The fragility of life, the fact that it could be taken in a split second, reminded me to live life fully.

The last lesson hit me the hardest because it came too close- the death of our loving neighbor who showed me nothing but kindness. Though we were told of the looming news several months ago, the truth was nothing that could prepare you for it The world seemed to stand still when I read about her passing. She was a beautiful person in and out that will be surely missed.   

The question about death has motivated the most arduous efforts of philosophers. But, the reality of death lays plainly with the bleakness of the grave. Death is ultimately inevitable. As Hemingway said, “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”


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