Death happens. Call it morbid, but it’s undeniably true—we all die. Some people make peace with it early on, like myself—where my dad passed when I was three. As result, I grew up to a chorus of “I’m so sorry for your loss”—my young mind never truly grasping that phrase’s meaning. As of now, it’s clear they meant to say, “I feel bad this painful thing happened to you and at some point, or another, it’ll happen to everyone”.
I used to feel like death marked me. Like maybe my encounter with death would follow me through schooling and I would forever to be “the girl whose dad died”. For a long time I allowed his death to define me. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I finally took a step back and asked why I was letting this sad, terrible, difficult—yet inevitable—thing take over my identity.
I had resigned myself to seeing death as only pain, and as something that only I had experienced. Once I changed my outlook I started seeing things differently. When we look at death we don’t have to only see pain. If you believe in an afterlife you can find comfort in knowing that you’ll see your loved-ones again one day. If you don’t believe in an afterlife then that makes your life, and your time with loved-ones, all the more precious.
This week my dad’s mom passed away and, once again, I’ve floated in the sea of “I’m so sorry”. While those kind words are soothing to my aching spirit, I’ve found my comfort in knowing that it was her time. My mom visited my grandma and told her we were all going to be okay, and that she could let go if she needed to; that night she passed.
Death happens. There’s no way to outrun it or cheat it. It’s the ultimate fate that we can’t avoid. The most we can do is live our lives as best we can, be happy, be kind to each other, and not live in fear of when our life will end. When we reach the end of our lives we can only hope that we have lived in a way that has left us ready for whatever lies beyond. For now, the present is of essence—so fill it with love and loved-ones.