A Recent Death Inspired Me To Love The Little Things In Life Before They're Gone

A Recent Death Inspired Me To Love The Little Things In Life Before They're Gone

Sometimes, we need to be reminded about the importance of appreciating what's around us.
660
views

All my life, I was aware that I could die at any moment. I knew I was surrounded by death but never really understood the weight of that. When my grandfather died, I was sad but wasn't too disturbed. I was never close to him, and I was too young for it to considerably affect me.

But just recently, I heard that somebody died. He was the father of a person I saw every once in a while. I didn't talk to that person often, and I had never spoken to their dad, but for some reason, I was more unsettled by this than my grandfather's death. Just knowing I had seen this person smiling and laughing really bothered me because now, they didn't have a dad. It became impossible to imagine how they used to have fun with their friends or how they reacted to their father's death.

At first, I couldn't figure out why this was so distressing. But after some deliberation, I think I know why now.

It could've been me. I didn't want to think about how that person felt because I didn't know how I would feel if my father died.

As I said before, I'm usually quite aware of the fact that death lurks at every corner. But something about seeing it happen to a person I knew gave me a grim reminder. And being somewhat older than the first time I encountered death, I was able to take away a few lessons from that observation I made.

The first and most obvious thing that I realized was how important it is to appreciate my family. Lately, I've tried to remind myself how lucky I am to have a mother and father that love me. When I was stressed or didn't have enough time for myself to relax, I often lashed out at my family because they were the easiest ones to yell at.

However, the recent death made me realize how I took all the things in my life from my laptop to my parents as a guaranteed. I never paused to think about how any one of those could disappear in an instant.

After a fight, I always assumed my parents would be alive in time for me to apologize. However, I've thought about situations where something happens after I've snapped at them. I've thought about them dying before I can apologize or tell them how much I love them. I've thought about me standing there with the last, unspoken words of a goodbye hanging from my lips. It made me pretty sad.

We always think we have time. We always think we can spend a good amount of life with our parents before they die. But we aren't entitled to that. As unfair as it may seem, anything can happen at any time. So even though it's hard to constantly put myself in perspective and see the big picture, I've been trying to be more aware of that.

The second lesson I learned was to stop taking life for granted. I honestly don't have a problem with complaining. I do it a lot, and everyone is entitled to express their opinions about issues that affect them even if they don't do anything about it. However, I began to realize how much I complain about everything from my grades to my life and my surroundings.

It made me ask myself: If I were to die right here right now, would I be satisfied with my life?

I can't speak for everybody, but I knew my answer was no. The thought of me dying at that point in time was disturbing. I became aware of how much I wished to live and experience all that I could before I died. What I took away from that was to enjoy my life more. I wanted to live through all the good and ugly things life had to offer. That way, when I did meet my sudden end, I could smile and be at peace knowing that I did it all. I aspired to strive for a point in the future where my answer to that question could be yes.

Obviously, I can't experience everything in the world. Obviously, I will probably be a little sad when I die because it signifies the permanent end to my life. However, the best and most realistic thing I can do is just to be more thankful for it.

SEE ALSO: There's A Strange Peace In Staying Up When No One Else Is Awake

I think the key to appreciating life is enjoying what we have right now. It's a bit of a passive viewpoint, but I believe being grateful for what we have signifies true satisfaction. Along with this comes complaining. I still complain about my problems, but I don't see it as a bad thing. It inspires change and is an outlet for my emotions. What I've learned from appreciating life is not to stop complaining but to think of something that made me happy for every complaint I make.

So I guess that's why I'm writing this article. To give you a gentle reminder to appreciate life and your family. Because sometimes, we get lost in routine and forget to think about the future. You don't necessarily have to go bungee jumping off a cliff because #YOLO. But sometimes, just acknowledge that your life is the sole opportunity you'll get to experience your unique course of events. Appreciate the beauty in things that you might never get to see again.

It's hard, I know. Especially when I'm grumpy or preoccupied, I tend to overlook things or see the worst in them. But occasionally, just ask yourself: if I were to die right here, right now, would I be satisfied with my life?

I'll leave that for you to answer.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash/ Adam Le Sommer

Popular Right Now

To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
1713675
views

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

What Kind Of Alcohol Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Let your horoscope decide what you drink this weekend.

960
views

Have you ever wondered what kind of alcohol fits perfectly with your zodiac? Have you ever thought, "if I was a drink, what kind of drink would I be?" Well, look no further because here is a comprehensive list of what kind of alcohol each of the zodiac signs are:

1. Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Beer

Relaxed, down to earth, and always there when you need them, Taurus you are just like our good ol' pal beer. You never let us down. You're always willing to relax with a calm night in, eating food and having a good time, which is why you're the perfect counterpart to beer. Beer is perfect while having a nice, chill time at home or the bar.

2. Gemini (May ​21 - June 20)

Vodka Red Bull

Just like the two sides of every Gemini, mixing vodka (a depressant) with Red Bill (which gives you energy), is the best of both worlds. Better watch out though, because while you can be the life of the party, one flip of the switch and you can be an angry drunk. Just like when drinking Vodka Red Bulls, you never know what you're going to get by the end of the night.

3. Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Whiskey

You're strong and intense, just like whiskey. There's no moderation, and you're either going full force or going home early. There's also no telling where the night will end up when it comes to Scorpio's or drinking whiskey. Will you fight someone, or will you open up about your true feelings and end the night crying? Who knows.

4. Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Champagne

Libra, you're friendly, outgoing, charming and idealistic. Just like a nice glass of champagne, you're bubbly, full of fun and always a good time to be around. Basically, you're the ideal drinking partner. Just like champagne, you're full of socialization and the perfect way to do this is by splitting a bottle of champagne with your friends.

5. Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Cosmopolitan

You're independent, original and intellectual. You're a classic, just like the Cosmo. Whether you're relaxing after a day of work, or meeting up with your friends at the bar, you're always standing a little bit on your own, and you like that.

6. Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Wine

You're creative, sensitive, and relate to everything and everyone in life. You're life can seem like a roller coaster of emotions which is why wine is the drink you most relate to. Depending on the kind of night, wine also can make a person feel all kinds of emotions -- from happy to sad, creative to festive -- wine just as much of a roller coaster as you are.

7. Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Tequila

Bold and enthusiastic, packing a punch and always headstrong, Leo, you're one in the same with tequila. You're always the center of attention (whether it be good or bad) and you never run out of energy, which is why you are just like tequila.

8. Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Gin

Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details, have a deep sense of humanity and are one with nature. This is a sign that's often also misunderstood, and all of these reasons are why Virgo's are so closely related to gin, which many people either don't like or don't understand. You're also very much of a solo act, which is much like Gin in that nothing else even slightly compares.

9. Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

Screwdriver

Energetic, fun, generous and humorous, you are one of a kind, Sagittarius. Just like a vodka OJ, you're enjoyed pretty much by everyone, and tend not to be sloppy while everyone else is getting trashed.

10. Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

All. Of. It.

Capricorns, or should we say chameleons, are the perfect drinking buddies, as they can have fun in pretty much any situation they are thrown into. Capricorn's are your carefree friend who just wants to have fun, and this means drinking pretty much anything they are given. They don't care about much other than partying and getting drunk.

11. Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Absinthe

You're creative and adventurous. Just like the drink Absinthe, you march to the beat of your own drum. Drinking with a pisces, just like drinking absinthe, is quite the unique experience and you never know what's going to happen by the end of the night. Whatever does happen, however, you know it's going to be an adventure.

Next time you go out, think about what kind of alcohol the stars have aligned for you.

Related Content

Facebook Comments