Life’s Unpleasant Reminders

Alexandra - Cypress, Texas
Entered on November 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: afterlife

I believe that death is life reborn. I believe that death happens to remind you of the importance of the simpler things in life. Life had become routine to me; I expected to wake up every day with life being as peaceful as it was the day before. That Sunday I realized it’s not.

Like every other Sunday, I slept as late as I wanted, and expected to see my parents sitting at the kitchen table – drinking their coffee and reading their paper. Not this Sunday. I woke up to hear a low rumble coming from the study. I walked in to see my mother in tears, and my father not knowing whether to console her or to leave her to grieve. I then found out that my Uncle Vince passed away the day before. I knew he was sick, but when did it get that bad? Why didn’t I ask more questions? Why didn’t I care about him just a little bit more?

Two weeks later I found myself sitting in a chapel, feeling guilty. My entire family was around me mourning the death of beloved relative. I had been so consumed in the materialistic things in life, and hadn’t been paying attention to what really mattered – the people who loved me. I was more concerned with me.

The service began – a traditional rosary service in Spanish – and my mind started racing. I looked at my life and realized that I had not been living for the right reasons. I was living for only myself. I looked around and saw tears flowing from everyone’s eyes. The only person that mattered to them was Vince. I looked at my mother, and I was overwhelmed. She was sobbing uncontrollably and I broke down.

The priest said a few consoling words that were touching, but nothing compared to what my mother was about to say. She managed to compose herself enough to talk about Vince. The way she spoke of him made me want to be like Vince, and in turn made me want to be like her. He cared more about others than himself – as does my mother – and was always looking to make everyone else happy. It didn’t matter how much pain he was in, it only mattered if you were happy. If Vince could make you laugh, or crack a joke to lighten the mood, he was satisfied.

That’s when it hit me. Life is not about you, it’s about happiness, joy, and most of all, love for others. The passing of a family member is news that no one wants to receive. But I believe this has taught me so much about life as well as myself. I know now what is truly important, and I wouldn’t give that for the world. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the basics, and this has ultimately brought me to a new, unimaginable happiness. I believe that the death of Vince brought me back to life.