Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{thinking about death, again}

Photobucket My friend's little sister was murdered this past summer; today would've been her 23rd birthday. I'm not going to go into the details of it all, because I wouldn't even know what or how to tell you and it's not my story to tell, but I wanted to share a tiny bit of my friend's Facebook status from this morning. Just a sentence, actually:

"Happy 23rd birthday to my beautiful sister in heaven...I wish I could do something to make you feel special today, but I guess all my chances have been used up."

I guess it just got me thinking about all the chances I've been given in this life in regards to other people. I've written about death before {here} but that was more about, you know, my death. I always hear the phrase live like you were dying thrown around, but I've never heard live like all your family and friends were dying. People ask, "What would you do if this was your last 24 hours on earth?" but not, "What would you do if this were your best friend's last 24 hours on earth?"

I know. This is weird. Just go with it.

I'm not trying to negate the importance of taking care of your own soul, making sure you're ready to go and all that. This is just a different thing entirely: I'm talking about making the most of every single big or little opportunity to encourage, love, care for, reconcile with, honor {etc} the people you're on this earth with.

It's not a new thought, at all. It's just something that really hit me this morning. It's something that I think my friend did really well for her sister. It's something I want to do really well for everyone I come in contact with. It's something that you don't do by accident.

Thoughts?

13 comments:

  1. You're absolutely right. I think your life is only valuable if you've spent equal time making other people feel wonderful AND caring for yourself. It's so important to make the most of everyone we have and not take them for granted. What a lovely, thoughtful post x

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  2. I started thinking this way too when Ryan got in a car accident last year. What if he had died? And the last thing I said was something stupid? I want to know that I'm happy with the way I was treating the people in my life and not purposely creating stupid drama or making someone's life hell.
    I actually teased a girl a lot in Junior High and she ended up committing suicide, and I will never lose that feeling like it was at least partially my fault. I'm never going to be that bully ever again.

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  3. I like your reframing of the "24 hours" question. Because of Rob's time in Iraq I feel particularly sensitive to the possibility I could lose him one day - as a result I always tell him I love him and how much I appreciate him, even if it drives him nuts. Ditto with my family - I never hang up in anger without saying "I love you" or letting them know I care.

    I'm so sorry about your friend's sister, how awful.

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  4. This really resonates with me. I've gone full circle in the past few months from worrying about my own death to now worrying about the death of my loved ones. So far i've had no major losses in my life apart from when my mother's best friend's daughter died aged 7 but we always knew that she probably wouldn't survive her childhood anyway. I've not suffered any truly shocking losses like someone dying in a car accident or even dying of cancer, I know that i've been incredibly lucky and that by the law of averages my luck is running out.
    I've gone from panicking almost irrationally about the loss of my own life to thinking about losing my loved ones and hoping with all my heart that I die before them, even if that means tomorrow because I can't bear the heartache.

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  5. I always make a big deal about Craig making sure he kisses me in the morning before he leaves, even if I'm still sleeping, b/c I would hate it if that was the last time I saw him and I didn't get a last kiss. Morbid, maybe, but you never know.

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  6. Firstly, I'm terribly sorry about your friend's sister. I'm sure it was terrible for your friend, and for her family and friends.

    I have never really thought about what I'd do if MY friend were to die tomorrow, I don't know how I'd manage or even know what I'd do to make their last 24 hours the most enjoyable ever. But honestly, I probably would spend those hours crying my eyes off and hugging that person non stop.

    I guess we all start thinking about this kind of thing if we set an exact date, but if we didn't, we'd probably never do anything too crazy, we always think we have time. But time always flies by.

    <3

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  7. Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing. Definitely something I needed to read.

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  8. My cousin's cousin, a kid I grew up with, was murdered a little over a year ago... It was one of the most horribly hardest losses I've ever had to deal with, and for my cousins who were even closer than I was to Craig, it was excruciating. One thing it did though, was make us realize how precious we are to each other, and I think I spent those weeks telling the people I love that I love them more than ever before. And since then I've made a point to make these people I love feel beautiful and special and precious all of the time, because they really are the beautiful and special and precious pieces of my life. So in short, I agree with you.

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  9. Thoughtful post, Suzy. It's so tough. Lives cut short always break my heart. Last 24 hours on earth? I would spend it low key...with the people I love...and desserts ;-)

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  10. I think about this all the time. Not obsessively, but more often. A couple months ago I watched my great uncle die. We were all in the hospital room, I was rubbing my Grandpa's back -- his brother was his best friend. We were there for my great uncle's final moments. It's made me think a lot about my impact on the people around me. Would they be in my hospital room when I finally went?

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  11. Oh. Yes. I've never phrased it exactly that way before. How *can* I have a positive impact on my friends' lives?

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  12. This is really good. REALLY good. Thanks for making me think today ;)

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  13. I think of that sometimes with my kids - you assume they'll outlive you but you just never know. I just want them, no matter what to know that I love them - but is what I'm doing reflecting that? And I feel such urgency to pray and teach and hope that they'll believe and follow Jesus with their lives too.

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Say anything you want. It doesn't even have to be relevant.