Eulogy for a Friend
This is my fourth try writing a blog post this week. The other three were deleted from my computer because they sucked. My brain is not in gear.
A friend of mine died this week. He was only 22 years old. He was smart, talented, good looking and popular. So WTF?
My wife and I are in pain. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of my friends, (the parents and sisters). Life is not supposed to be this way. A parent should not outlive their child.
When death hits friends, it also hits home. It is no longer some unspeakable reality we stash away in the back of our minds. It becomes the most present and hard-hitting event known to mankind. It is real and visceral and painful and absolutely truthful.
What it brings home (or should bring home) is that this is your fate as well. Just 2 or 3 years ago I became more aware that I am going to die and it could be sooner than later. If it can happen to an incredible kid, then it certainly can happen to an old man like me.
So in times like this what do you do? You mourn and then you mourn even longer. At some point, if you’re lucky, you begin to reflect… on the goodness of the person and the potential of the goodness in you. Finally, you make the most difficult decision of all. You decide to really live. You honor that person for reminding yourself that the only thing that matters is living out who you were created to be in the service of society and the honor of the Holy.
What Really Matters Anyway?
This shocking reminder of the brevity of life forces you to pause… and reflect. What matters in life anyway?
Only two things come to mind. But… if you LIVE and embrace these two ideas you will leave a legacy of an envious life:
- Don’t Hold Grudges. Not only am I reminded to love those close to me and those I barely know, I am driven to dismiss any stupid grudges I hold against another person. How petty my differences with people actually are. Arguments or anger or hurt are relegated to selfish personal desires and self-righteousness. The people themselves, broken and fragile as they are, are the only thing that matters. It is my human duty to love them, in spite of my ill feelings toward them.
I just can’t believe how petty I really can be. There may be no tomorrow. It’s embarrassing how I allow my hurt feelings to get in the way of loving a person I may never see again. I don’t want to be sorry I didn’t show them the love they deserved; and they deserved it just because they were a part of my life.
- DO My “WANT-TO-DO’S. I intend to wipe away any procrastinations and excuses. There is no tomorrow. There is only today so I MUST make the most of it. My young friend has forced me to reconsider what I do each moment, each day, and how I prepare for tomorrow and the tomorrow after that.
What do you “Want-to-Do” during your time here? It’s a huge question that requires reflection and thoughtfulness. It might help to think about – what you want to do, what you want to be, what you want to have, and what you want to be known for. Answer these questions and you will start focusing your life in the right direction.
Let grief have its day
but don’t forget to live today like it really matters.
Photo courtesy of Stock photo © Yuri_Arcurs