Sunday, June 29, 2008

Every life matters

"Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
Mark Twain
For quite some time I have been thinking about blogging on the second most important part of the paper, the obituaries. I really like what I found on the online Etymology dictionary: from L.[Latin] obitus "departure, a going to meet, encounter."
In the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 7 it says that the day of our death is better than the day of our birth. In some respects I agree. It is hopefully, a life well lived. Some obituaries are extremely sad not because of the amount of people left behind or the young age that some die but because there are very few words written and no survived by list. Those are the ones I find extremely sad. I take those to heart knowing that some day my obituary will be written and I will be going to my eternal home.
However, no man is an island. Each life does effect another and I believe that this the way God intended it to be. We have no idea how we do indeed influence one another but the fact remains that no matter how you live your life, it will effect the life of another. For some reason I keep thinking of the homeless, that man, woman or teen that you might see on the street or in the park they are some one's son or daughter. If the parents are still alive the absence of that person in their life carries a certain heartache.
So, I guess this leads us back to life. How am I living life? What kind of impact am I having on the people around me? When its time for me to move on, will there be something worth writing in my obit? Where will I get my perspective on this living and dying business? Who will lead me through this life and certain death? (none of us makes it out of this world alive) Why should I even bother giving the death notices the time of day?
I would like to answer that last question. The short answer is: Every life matters. Just reading about people I never met is a way to honor their memory. Then there are loved ones of those that I love who pass on and I want to be able to acknowledge their loss, come along side them in their pain and help them continue to walk on in this life. In today's Sunday Herald, Margery Eagan wrote about a soldier who was killed in combat and given the full honors of a military funeral. We need to remember those who are willing to fight and die for us even if we disagree with the war. Mourn with those who mourn.
Life has been the biggest adventure. Sure there have been seasons that I've drudged through and I am grateful for the simpler days that I have known. In some ways I romanticize them, but it is important to remember that every day is a gift. It is after all the only day that we are guaranteed. And yes: Live like today is your last because if very well may be.
Some links to get you interested in the final curtain call:

This blog dedicated to my Auntie, Mary Fitzgerald who is still alive and kickin' and use to say,
"I read the obits first and if my name isn't there, then I can read the rest of the paper."

1 comment:

Grace Joan said...


I wish I knew how to show someone that their own life matters.
Sometimes the hardest person to fit into our philosophy is ourself.