LIFE, DEATH AND SIGNIFICANCE

I’m finding peace don’t come
To everyone I know,
So I will love in this life
Until I finally have to go.
— Run River North "Growing Up"

Last week started with the news of death.  A text message that changed the life of some of those closest to me; a life was cut short.  Death leaves us with so much confusion; so many questions of why. So much introspection of am I doing enough; am I loving enough.

We convince ourselves that we fear death but what I think we actually fear is insignificance.  When we lose someone who impacted our life in a great way we begin to wonder if our life will have a similar impact on someone else.  We begin to wonder if the things we are doing are things that will matter for longer than we will be on this earth.  We analyze our relationships, we take stock of the things that we hold important and our impact seems so minuscule from our perspective.  Death makes our life finite and the thought of that causes so much anxiety in us. Thus death is ugly to us.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

As ugly as death is there is also beauty in death.  There is beauty is celebrating the life of someone who made an impact, no matter the size.  To bring people together and hear the stories of who they were to those around them.  The memories of a life lived to its fullest and lived for something other than itself.  There is a special beauty in sharing your own memories because it helps bind you to a community that was changed by the life of a single person;  A life that was significant.

I have experienced sudden loss in my life multiple times that caused a deep lasting pain.  It hurt. Death hurts but beauty did come.  I didn't believe it would but it did.  It came when I realized that who I am today is because those I lost gave so much of their life to me and to others around them.  They showed me that life isn't about me, that it is about living beyond yourself in small and large ways.  That significance is found in giving your life to everyone but yourself.

We have no reason to fear death and we have no reason to fear insignificance. Our lives matter to those around us.  We make an impact every day.  We will live on through the lives of those who carry on after we go.  We have no need to fear, our life matters.