By Shanae Godley
This has got to be one of the hardest blogs I’ve ever written, but I think it’s a necessary topic to discuss. In the past week, I’ve heard of so many deaths that it’s frightful. Profoundly enough, there’s nothing like the presence of death to remind you of how precious time really is, because death has a way of making you think more closely about life.
Whether it was life with the person who died or with someone who fulfills the role of that person, it makes you think. For instance, my daughter told me that one of her closest friends had lost his grandmother. When she first said it, my response was “Oh, I’m so sorry. Have you spoken to him? Is he okay?” Then, a small voice, from within, told me to look at her. I turned to look at my strong, beautiful daughter, who never cries, and it appeared that her eyes were glossed over. “Oh goodness,” I thought, and in an immediate pause, I had to think of a new direction for this conversation. Remembering that she had lost a grandmother a short while ago, I stopped what I was doing (cooking or something) to talk with her about how this incident had made her feel.
Though her grandmother wasn’t the deceased person we celebrated at this moment, she was very much a part of the conversation. We were talking about her friend’s grandmother, but in my daughter’s heart, she remembered the life of her own. We all are subject to doing this very thing, and there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as we don’t let prolonged grief become a priority in our lives. Remember, if death, regardless of who we lost, is bothering you then it’s important to get the help you need and do the work to heal.
I brought up this story because while I listened to my daughter, I was struck by the remembrance bug. Before long I was reminiscing about my grandmother. Sharing stories about our life and wishing she was here, but realizing at the same time that I couldn’t have her back, neither could my daughter and neither could her friend.
So, what can we do? To remember the deceased, we can honor them with the life we have. Life is made of time. Our time here on earth will not last forever and is very unpredictable. It is up to those who have a life to continue living one that matters.
Today, I pray strongly for and send my love to those who were affected by the mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. While it makes no sense and maddens me to no end (another reason to pray), it too reminds me of just how precious time can be. I cannot say that I knew anyone who died or was injured, nor can I say that knew anyone in the Walmart in El Paso at all, but I can say that it affected me. Indeed, it was yet another reminder that time is not promised to any of us. There’s no guarantee that we’ll make it another year.
So, while we have life and time is on our side, let’s make the most of it.
Use time wisely.
Make a difference.
Do what you love.
Love a little more.
Frown a lot less.
And, do not live a life where fear controls anything.