Death is tricky. It can be unexpected or expected. It’s a time of reflection. An influx of thoughts overwhelms the mind. Illness is another uncanny and unwanted element in life, especially when your eyes witness the suffering of a loved one. Death and illness the pair of twins you don’t want anywhere near your family.
A friend, who I’ve known for over a decade, lost her father recently. She first lost her mom about the same time we met. Years later, my mother’s brother died. When I was a child, my mother lost her mother. I saw her cry like a child. It was deeply painful. Sometime in my pre-teen years, my mom’s family lost a close family friend in a terrible tragedy.
I asked myself, what did all the people who died have in common? I concluded I wasn’t close to any of them. I never really met any of my grandparents because they lived in Guatemala. The close family friend, I was too young to know her really. My friend’s parents, well, I have to admit my closeness was mainly to my friend; nonetheless, there’s something painful about their deaths.
You see people living and walking among us, and then one day they’re gone. They become myths. One of the many thoughts is, who is next? I can only imagine how painful it must be to lose a person you love genuinely. And it makes think about my own family and friends who I genuinely care about. One day, they too will depart, and so will I. I mean, it’s like a time bomb. It’s agony. Though I come from a family who believes that there’s an afterlife, death and illness are horrifying thoughts. But through God, we must learn to overcome this fear, and yet it is almost humanly impossible.
I never know what to say in such situations. I mean, how can I take the pain away? It’s a deep wound. It’s emotionally scarring to see a person you care about cry, and there’s really nothing much that can be done. How do you take illness and actual physical pain away? I can’t do anything about that either.
I personally feel that God is the only One who helps us get through rough times. And it is true what they say, time heals everything. Above all, I hope that even troubled times help me to be a better person; such times serve to polish who we are. Such times obligate the thoughtful mind to seek beyond the first layers of one’s character.
For instance, how can I be a better daughter, sister, friend, person, girlfriend, coworker so on and so forth? Or, which areas in my life need change? What are the past mistakes that I don’t want to repeat? Am I living life to the fullest? Am I genuinely living a path of true peace and love? Am I living a meaningful life that contributes to humanity? If not, how and when can I change that? If I am providing to humanity, somehow, what else can I do to develop characteristics that honor love, peace, harmony, joy, patience, loyalty, truth, and transparency?
Sadly and unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do once a life departs from earth. However, we should not let their life go to waste. It should be our duty to learn from it and seek to polish the self. While we live is when we need to love deeper and learn to have a purpose, not material gain or a successful career. There’s nothing wrong with either one. However, they’re not vital once we give our last breath on earth.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
I wrote this in memory of Antonio Collazos. Though I never had a chance to say goodbye to him personally, I will always remember Tony as my biggest rival in our eternal soccer (football) feud. He was a Barcelona and Messi fan. I am a Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, and now Juventus fan.