I believe that death isn’t something to be feared, but that life is something to be celebrated.
The first memory that I have associated with death was when I was 6 years old and my great grandmother passed away. I didn’t know her well and I don’t remember anything about her, but I clearly remember the funeral. I remember feeling very scared and confused. I remember how soon after arriving, the innocent, energetic light within me suddenly went out. I remember the air around me feeling so heavy and somber. I remember looking into the faces of loved ones, seeing their tears, and feeling utterly hopeless. I remember the pain I felt inside my tiny heart and I remember wondering what possibly could have been going on to make me feel this way. I was naïve and yet I knew that this was the most horrible feeling I could ever experience, the feeling of being abandoned.
For many years after, I was paranoid about losing the ones I loved. I tried the best that I could to protect them from falling into a similar fate, but as you probably could have guessed, I failed.
When I was 14, my grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack and that horrible feeling of my childhood returned. My grandpa was such a fun-loving old soul and I couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to get through this tragedy in one piece. As I walked solemnly toward the church preparing myself for grief instead I found a celebration. There were balloons and streamers everywhere and everyone was talking and laughing, reminiscing about the wonderful memories of my Moe.
I honestly had no idea what to think at first. I had spent so much of my life fearing death that I had forgotten to recognize the miracle of life. Seeing the hope of all the loved ones left behind in that Church was overwhelming. They knew that my grandpa was at peace and that was all it took for them to be happy. They didn’t feel abandoned but thankful for all the time they had with this wonderful man. Their selfless love brought me to tears and I realized that my fear was never really in death itself but being left in life alone. I was selfish in thinking that I needed to stop death when in reality my goal should always have to been to cherish life.