Almost nothing of human construct has come without death some way attached.
Not only is it the final stanza of our earthly existence in human form, but as a species, we are quite unique in that we also spend an incredible amount of time and energy creating opportunities and ways for this to occur ‘unnaturally’. As if nature and life doesn’t throw us enough curveballs, we humans seem quite good at devising ways to alleviate what I can only see as our existential boredom from times of relative calm. Curious, that.
At any rate, I choose to see humans that die as moving on to another place, another existence, so those left behind (the living in this realm) are always forced to deal with the aftermath. Oftentimes we learn from that which has taken life. Sometimes we do not.
Of course Indycar fans around the globe will remember all too well where they were at this point of Earth’s previous loop around the sun, and perhaps other events in their lives for which time seemingly warps while the brain tries to comprehend what has happened. I am no different. Along with many, many others, I posted on the internet about my thoughts and feelings in the aftermath. Now a full year beyond, I’m not sure I have any better feeling or understanding for those events than I did then.
If you recall or go review that post, you will read about another death that occurred locally to me and was also quite shocking and saddening to our relatively modest community of Goshen, Indiana. That murder continues to remain unsolved and the healing is still very much in process. Just yesterday I received the unexpected and quite unfair news that a relative of mine and her husband were now parents grieving from the death of their one-week old baby. My wife and kids are currently travelling to visit family and extended relation who experienced the loss of a husband and father in the events of 9/11/01.
Perhaps that is so, but acknowledging that darkness should also serve to better allow us to recognize how fortunate we are to have moments of illumination, light, positiveness, substance, when it occurs.
Felix Baumgartner’s recent ascent and descent (quite unexpectedly) also helped expand my sense of community. In a broader view I also share in the overall pain of struggles with people in every corner of the globe who suffer daily from starvation, violence, and disease.
So here it is again. In the last 24-48-72 hours (and seemingly daily in some form), I must pause and consider what of our earthly existence has true value. I’ve yet to be sufficiently convinced that anything beyond what we consider family or community should have our greatest attentions for those are the things we most miss when removed from us.
The fact that the internet allows non-localized operations and communities to exist and thrive is perhaps one of humankind’s most interesting uses of the telecommunication invention. We can share in each others joy and pain. We can find new methods of thought and life. Today I share pain with those for which related DNA is most apparent, with numerous people for which I have an ‘electronic community’, and for everyone else who are restrained to the Earth of ours.
Perhaps what I take most from days like these – days of reflection – is that the world is, at the same time, both immense and limited.
Enjoy your time here – it is limited.
Be thankful for those you love and who love you – wish well to those who don’t.
Treat others how you would like to be treated – do not expect it in return.
Be true to yourself – be fair to others.
Basically, those who have gone before us might simply say…
“Live your life, it’s the only one you get.”