Death is inevitable. One can evade taxes, but one cannot evade death. It is the one moment, the one single event, that we all have in common. Our most important encounter with death is one we will have no recollection of, however, those that love us most that will be impacted and forever changed by this departure.
Although as we grow older our meetings with death become more frequent, I do not believe for a second that these encounters will ever lose their sting. No matter how many times we encounter death, we will always be brought to our knees by it: humbled and broken as we are once again awoken from our day-to-day fairy tale. Death humbles us because it thrusts us into reality; our encounters remind us that that we are mere mortals, we are finite, we are dust, we are millions of moments held together by blood, bones and skin, here one moment and gone the next.
Last week I attended the wake of a close friend’s father. Although there were moments of light, the atmosphere was laden with pain as those who loved him most and knew him best gathered together to remember him. As I journeyed home, I began to reach out to those I loved and even now, I’m not exactly sure why I did. Perhaps I wanted to make up for the numerous missed calls/whatsapps/texts. Perhaps I wanted them to know that they were loved…and remind myself that I, too, was loved.
Life has begun to move so quickly that I often forget to hold the people I love and the moments that have moved me with both hands. I am busy, so busy, with the things that ‘matter’ that the last few months have become a blur. My encounter with death this week caused me to pause.
What did I learn?
It’s time to be a better friend
I want to be present for those I love. It’s not enough to ‘be there when you need me’, that’s a cop out. I want to make more of an effort. I want to love more than I have in the past, not just loving when I feel sociable, but also being present on the days I want to crawl into my man-cave (my bed).
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
It’s time to be a better daughter
I spend so much time running about, dipping my fingers in about 4 projects at a time that I never spend my evenings at home. My Mum accuses me of treating the house like a Bed and Breakfast. Even though I laugh it off, a conversation with my friend Flo reminded me that my parents are the most important people in the world to me. I am so privileged to be at an age where I can know my parents as individuals and appreciate the sacrifices they have made for me. Yesterday I spent the evening in my Mum’s room. We didn’t actually speak that much but she kept saying “Odo, I can’t believe you are home – this is crazy.” I think our evening together made her happy (she will deny this, of course).
What we do here matters
My Mum once said ‘we live on through those we leave behind’. When you begin each day, remember this: what you say, what you do, how you treat people, what you create and what you contribute will live on long after you are gone.
Although what we do here is of great importance, I cannot end this post without reminding you that this isn’t the end – heaven is our destination, heaven is our home. Let us live each day with Jesus Christ at the forefront of our minds and keep His word in our hearts.