“I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.” ― Jimi Hendrix
This morning I found out that my great uncle Bruce had died. He was a quiet man who loved his family and we all had great respect for him. As much as I hate the idea that he’s left us, I know he’s in a better place now, and I know his role in the MacCallum, etc. family will never be forgotten.
Looking back over the past few weeks it seems like death is following me – or at least making me remember that it’s always lurking around in the world. After the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of an extremely close family friend, as well as hearing about the accidental death of a former acquaintance, death just won’t seem to leave me alone.
It’s not that I’m scared of death. I just hate it. I live by the slogan “Anyone can die so have the courage to live” and I keep it in mind as my reminder to live each day as if it were your last (or at least try to). But I still can’t shake the dreaded feeling that death brings.
Death is a necessary evil, and my mom always says “we’re here for a good time, not a long time” and it’s so very true. Life is short. It’s way too goddam short. And if death has taught me anything it’s to always show gratitude and appreciation to those that deserve it, to always tell those you love just that, to live each waking moment to the fullest, and to never take any moment for granted.
I remember telling my grandfather while we were out for lunch the other day (I say that as if I’m a wise old soul and sometimes old folks need to hear my wisdom… pfffttt) that he needs to stop complaining about getting older and feeling pity on himself for what age has bestowed on him because aging is a luxury that many don’t get to experience. And I believe every single letter of that sentence.
As much as I hate death, I’m thankful for it in a strange way. I’m thankful that life brings people, animals and other things to us in the first place – even if it means having to one day say goodbye to them. I’m thankful that experiencing death in our lives causes us to be grateful for our own lives, as well as all the moments that we will take to the grave with us, and all the memories that our loved ones will keep of us.
Goodbye Bruce, Tim and Jon. May you all rest in peace until we’re up there resting with you, and may your loved ones never forget the life that you lived and the impact that you’ve made.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ― Mark Twain