Recently I watched the movie Collateral Beauty, and although I will not give away too much of the movie, the lead character played by Will Smith writes three letters. One letter is to Death, the other to Time, and lastly to Love. So I thought I would write my own letters to each in the idea of Catholic lent and human reflection. I am finding my own "collateral beauty" or internal beauty in the hope that one day someone sees it radiating.
You have been described several different ways, but most know you as the end of the road. The end of human life as we know it. I, like many, have watched you take the air out of those around me. Maybe I don’t know you that well, but I know the heartbreaking destruction you leave as a path behind you. People say that the dying see a light before they go or that you should leave the windows open so the soul can leave the body. You are a mysterious situation that we will never truly know about until we are gone and experience it. I know we can’t live eternally, and although I hate you tremendously, I think through you I was able to appreciate my relationship with time better. We need to make every fleeting moment one to remember. You may take loved ones from us, but you will never take away the memory of them.
I never seem to get enough of you, even more now that I am college. I want to go back to the days when 15 minutes on the time out chair seemed like an eternity. I have gotten better at this whole time management thing, I think (Oh wait this articles due in 10 minutes… Must write faster!). But your relationship with death has really got me appreciating every moment, at least I try. When I don’t have enough of you to do what I want, and only what I need to do, I don’t appreciate you. Because of you, I can easily say I have a closer relationship with stress then I ever have before. He is a real pain, but he brings out the self motivation in me. I have also met your friend relaxation, and even though I don’t experience her enough. She allows me to keep going. So all in all, I am learning to appreciate you and your relationship with your friends more. I will never get enough of you, but maybe I will be able to appreciate you more.
The only time I have ever experienced you unconditionally was through my family members. You love to hate them, but someone messes or breaks your family members heart, and they will have to go through you first. I guess the first time I experienced you I was too young to even realize it. Maybe even too young to say my first word. I have been thinking about you a lot lately. I never truly loved someone conditionally (outside of family members), but I am sure that one day they will come along and I will just know. I look at a lot of relationships in the last 19 years. I guess in the process I was able to study them and learn from them to give others advice, and to know what's acceptable and what's not. I never needed to swing and miss on my own, some will think that that’s a good thing, and others are shocked about it. But even though I haven’t been in a relationship or in love, I can honestly say I know what I am looking for and I won’t settle for anything else. I have hopes that I will meet you again when I find the right person. I will find you unconditionally when I meet my husband and when I meet my child for the first time, and so forth. So you could say that I am patiently waiting to meet you again. They say that you can never truly love someone until you love yourself. And although I do love myself, it takes a whole lot of learning about ourselves to truly mean it. Love thanks for being a part of my life, I wish everyone can feel your existence in their own way. Hopefully you are more prominent in people's lives moving forward. No one should ever meet Death without meeting you first. That’s my one wish for society.
So here's to discovering the Collateral Beauty in all of us! It takes a long time to become the person you have always been, but that’s just the beauty of life. I am going to challenge everyone reading this article to write their own letters to Death, Time and Love. And also watch the movie Collateral Beauty for yourself! I mean, who doesn’t love Will Smith?!