After the hamsters death last week...
I started thinking about the kids and how they were coping with it.
I also started thinking about this brain tumor, and how just knowing it is there has put a sharper focus on my own mortality.
Then, I started thinking about death, in general.
Yeah, I know... uh oh. lol So, here I am sharing some of those thoughts with you.
As humans, we are the only living beings that KNOW we are going to die. As 'sentient' beings we are aware of ourselves, aware of our thoughts, aware of our limitations as a species, and thusly, aware of our own impending deaths, as well as those of our loved ones.
That is huge when you think about it. No other species on Earth 'gets' that. Dogs, cats, monkeys, dolphins... They don't 'know' that they are going to die. That their child could or that their parents will... they just don't understand the concept of 'death'.
Of course, that isn't to say that they don't have the will or drive to live or survive. However, it is innate, it is instinctual for them, not part of their thought process. There is no awareness of 'self', or introspection for them.
Interesting, isn't it? Some would say that they might be better off, and some would feel it for certain.
I don't think so. Knowing is a gift. We know life is a gift.
Yes, it is hard. Yes, there is pain and loss. But there is joy, and love, and happiness... you just have to feel it and be open to it.
There is a great quote by Pope Paul IV that I want to share with you:
<FONTFACE="COMIC size="4" MS? Sans>"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows."
I love this quote because of it's spirit and it's truth.
I don't think anyone has to 'tell us' right from the start as we do slowly come to the realization fast enough, in my opinion. The hard part is to keep that urgency pushing you to live your life to the fullest.
Do the things you want to do. See the things you want to see. Learn the things you want to learn. Make lists and goals, and even if it is little steps, begin to take them. Find the balance between 'making a living' and 'following your bliss'.
Appreciate the people around you, and let them know how much they mean to you. You may not get to tell them tomorrow, so do it today. Do it every day. Speak the words; don't assume 'they know' how you feel.
Listen to your family and friends. Don't stop there though, don't just listen, hear it fully, and validate their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
Each of us is immortal in that we will live in the memories of those that are left behind. That is true for us all, no matter if we believe in an afterlife or do not.
It may be your kids, your siblings, or your friends. Maybe it will be those you worked along side with, while helping others, or rescuing animals. Maybe it will be people here in J-Land who always remember your writing, your kind comments, your kindness.
All of us have the opportunity to affect others and be remembered by them.
And that is pretty amazing.
So, don't live in fear, don't live in your head. Reach out to those around you and find the joy.
Because all the cliche's are true.
Life is too short.
You only live once.
Time stops for no one.