Beauty is in the Darkness

Erin - Grosse Pointe City, Michigan
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death

Lilies; their smell floods a funeral home. They’re supposed to be the flower of death, the one that gives you a chill with its haunting beauty. Walking into a funeral home, two things are for certain: there will be pictures and there will be whispers. It is supposed to be the celebration of someone’s life isn’t it? Then why, as I enter a room where they are celebrating my friend’s mother’s “life”, do I feel only sadness? Everyone is crying, she left a husband and two children. As my friend and I approach the viewing, she sobs to me, “It doesn’t look like her, that’s not my mom, she never looked like that.” All I could tell her was that the best picture of her mother was the one in her heart. As cliché as that may sound, her wailing began to cease as she recalled her mother’s smile and the times they had together. Instead of mourning the time that the dead have lost, why not consider the memories they had? Why not savor a mother’s smile rather then their blank eyes on their death bed? The fact that she lived a full life is beautiful, don’t let death blind you.

When the world is as it is today with war, famine, disease, disasters, and corruption, so many are blinded by the ever looming cumulous cloud that sits on the horizon. Can this world survive another storm? If we believe it can, it will. On 9/11 many people only saw death, many people only saw sadness, and many people only saw the inevitable war that has been with us these past 6 years. But who saw the people bonding together? Did anyone see our nation reaching out and helping each other? That is what happened, that was the candle in the darkness. An entire nation of 300 million was united once again… in sorrow, in agony, and in fear, yes, but together we helped pick up the pieces and together helped ourselves up. For even in the most terrible disasters people have hope and love. The fact that love still exists in the world of ours is in itself one of the most beautiful things we could ask for.

Recently my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and through her journey of Chemo and radiation she lost her hair. She’d gladly tell you she also gained 15 pounds, her skin became grayed and raw. When most people see her, they only see her disease. It takes someone who can see the beauty in the darkness to see her courage, her smile, her life. The ones that can see that beauty isn’t the size of your waist or the way you put your hair, beauty is in the gifts that life disguises as starless nights.