“He not busy being born is busy dying, …” Bob Dylan sang. “Life and life only … ” What we make of it, what others try to make us believe it is, what others try to make it for us. I believe it’s pretty good overall. I choose to believe that. Some people embody that more than others, to be sure.
And then there’s death. When it comes of its own accord, before or later than you might think it should, what then? I, for one, feel vulnerable, far more vulnerable than imagining someone sneaking up behind me with a kitchen knife. The inevitable from which we constantly hide by tucking and dying and artificially arousing is a greater force than any earthquake or tornado. I am bare of arms to fight the ultimate call. We all are.
When we lose someone particularly dear to so many for so long, perhaps we think of this fact more seriously. I do, anyway. Obviously. Have one less cocktail. Eat a few more greens. Walk an extra mile. Thank my lucky stars.
There are those people with particular gifts — a twinkle in their eye, a beautiful voice, a loving heart — who make us realize how lucky we were indeed to have someone like that in our lives. It makes us realize that even though we may have expressed gratitude toward these souls, we could never really know the depth of that emotion until they were gone. Funny how life works that way. Or death.
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“Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death.”
— Wernher von Braun
Yes, I cling to lines such as this like a stout floaty device in the ocean waves.
Our friend, Sheri Odenwald, has only left the earthly bonds of flesh and, as many Facebook comments have expressed, “is singing with angels.” And isn’t it funny how a particular song, a sound, a scent, will put those people right back at your side? That happens with my mom all the time. I mean, she has joined me many a mile in this life after the days when I could still hold her hand. Sometimes she helps me by being places she couldn’t possibly have been were she alive. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss her dearly.
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
― Albert Einstein
We are all energy. Love is energy. Sheri was love. Is love. Will always be love, just like others who have gone on to rake the stumbling stones off the next playing field. Thank you for doing that.
So, whatever person who is near and dear to you, whether still here or gone, recently or for some time, the most important lifestyle change you can make, I believe, is to love more, give more, want less, enjoy it while you can.
Oh, and sing more.
“It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing. …”