This I Believe

Niki - New Lenox, Illinois
Entered on February 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death

Death by common definition is just the ending of and not get much deeper than that. Death according to me was, up until recently, yet to be determined. Maybe the fact that I have never really experienced losing someone, but only looked upon it happening to others, is the reason I am terrified of it. One man has really made me stop and think about my definition, my grandpa.

My grandpa has been the most important man in my life forever. From the time I could walk, I could see a flame of passion in his eyes in everything he did. He was an extremely determined and well-accomplished man. He was superman in my eyes, and I never thought that one day he would lose his powers. Then the day came, when the flame that burned so bright through the best times and the worst, had dimmed out. This man, the strongest man I had ever known, was helpless. The kidney cancer could not beat him years before, but it seemed it was going to be a different fate when the cancer reappeared again in his bone. Due to the break of his leg and quick repair with metal rods, he was prevented from immediate start of chemotherapy, which he badly needed. My grandpa, who lived for adventure and challenge, was immobile and weak. I could not even look at him, it hurt so bad to see him so vulnerable. It finally seemed like his constant determination to always win his battles and fight through the end, had worn out.

I had finally figured out my definition of death: the scariest unknown to ever cross my mind. Not knowing what would happen to him in the “afterlife”, and what would happen to his family terrified me. I spent much of my time crying trying to figure things out. I hated not knowing what was going to happen. Live or die, smile or cry, wonderful or miserable, nothing was certain. The more I thought about it, I realized that death is what you make of it. Think of all the time you did have with your loved ones. Think of all the times they lit up your day, and all the times they wiped your tears away. Treasure the time you have with them and do not ever let it slip away. Always remember tomorrow may not come for some, and do your best to live today. My grandpa is still with me today, and I still have a little fear of the day when he will not be, but it is a constant reminder of how precious our time is together. I may never be able to shake my fear off completely, but I know I am stronger from facing it and dealing with it in the right way.