Death is an integral part of life. We all know it. Death is inevitable. And yet, for most of us death can pull the rug out from under ourselves, especially when it comes unexpectedly.
I just got the message that my uncle in Germany has died. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, yet. Yes, he was not young anymore, it was clear it was going to happen some day. But not now. It was not foreseeable. He was not sick or anything.
Once more there is this bitter realization that things that were planned are just not going to happen. Times will not come back.
I go to the rooftop to breath some fresh air.
There is a garden on the rooftop and I see a tree. I have observed fruits growing on this tree for a while. The fruits are of considerable size now. They will die. Or transform. Whatever you call it.
I live in a Buddhist country, and the awareness of the cycle of life is more present in daily life than in Western cultures.
Science today believes that the mass in the universe is constant. In other words: the universe doesn’t lose anything, nor does it create anything new. Everything just transforms, changes its form.
In essence, my uncle has just transformed. And live goes on.
Does this help? Yes, somehow. But it does not keep away the sadness, the feeling of loss, and the knowledge that more losses are to come.
I have learned over the time that we have no control over the events in our lives. What we can control is how we respond to these events, what we can learn from them.
Death teaches valuable lessons. It can help you re-evaluate what is important to you. Maybe it helps you not to postpone things that need to be done, not to hold back words that need to be said. Maybe it makes you reconsider how you spend the valuable time that is given to you. Maybe you start adjusting the actions in your life in a way that helps you to minimize the regrets you might otherwise have one day.
May Harald Freund rest in peace. And may you seize the day.