If death is such a natural thing, why does it so often feel like a robbery?
In a single moment, no matter how expected or unexpected it his, a life suddenly gets snuffed. We trick ourselves into thinking that person might be there forever.
But they, like all others, will be ripped from this Earth.
Whenever my grandfather died several years ago I couldn't quite get my head around it. He just seemed so… permanent, so sturdy. How could he go?
Strangely enough, I don’t remember any huge expressions of love from the man, yet I know he loved me. I honestly don’t remember too much about his personality, though I know it was fantastic. I would give anything to ask him a few questions now.
No, what I remember is the way his belly fat jiggled when he sat on the couch. I remember his sunglasses bouncing up and down on his face while he sweated on the riding mower. Perhaps the bigger memories are below the surface, but these seemingly meaningless, random ones are the ones which come to mind.
But are they really random?
At any funeral, there is almost always some laughter among the tears. People tell stupid stories and laugh about things that aren’t really funny.
More often than not, these are the little things in life: the hat someone always wore, the stupid joke they always told, the way they always dipped their fried chicken in mashed potatoes and gravy.
Too often in life we focus on big, unimportant characteristics: are you black or white? Are you fat or skinny? Are you a man or a woman?
In reality, though, it’s the little moments that stick. It’s the way your mother came out of the kitchen with food on her face, or the way your brother carried a certain toy from ages 3–14. It’s the way someone talks or laughs or whispers in your ear. It’s thinking someone would never curse until they drop that first f-bomb. It’s the haircut they cried about for weeks or the dog that annoyed you to tears.
We don’t have room or time for these little things when a person is among the living. Everyone needs to fit the perfect image which (thank goodness) has been so thoroughly displayed for us by advertisers everywhere.
But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there is only one you. Trying to sever characteristics or quirks you don’t like about yourself is exactly the way to create a boring, watered down version of someone else. Worse still, if you try and “fix” someone who might make you uncomfortable, you strip them of their individuality.
So today, love the little things about people.
Those very things might be the memories you cling to when they are gone.
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