In the past one week, I have had friends be touched by a total of five deaths. Whether it was a friend of a friend, a friend’s family member, or someone they went to school with, five people died that are related to my loved ones in some way or another. No one ever talks about death because it’s so morbid. No one ever talks about death because it’s so sad. At our age it’s especially difficult to talk about because of how scary and impossible it seems. But after these past few days, I’ve realized that that’s not true at all.
It is insane how someone can be here one second and simply be gone the next. It is insane how you can hear someone’s voice and the next day never be able to hear it again. Never be able to feel their embrace, never be able to catch their scent, never be able to look into their eyes. It is no doubt one of the most painful and heartbreaking experiences a community can go through. Just one person can touch the lives of so many. However, we tend to not realize just how influential one person can be until they are gone, and that’s the sad truth. In many ways we never truly understand how much we need something or someone until they are gone.
Until this week I honestly did not realize just how small our everyday problems are and it truly is sad that it took something so tragic for me to come to this realization. It takes something so heartbreaking to happen to another to make us realize just how lucky we are. It just doesn’t seem right that others suffer a loss while we gain an understanding of what we have. Not just life itself, but how small our problems are in comparison to those around us. Yes, tragic losses like these exemplify how important it is to live life to the fullest and relish in every moment (carpe diem and all that), but they also put our problems into perspective. Just last week my friends and I were complaining about how hard our midterm was or how annoying it was that a guy never texted back. Worrying about all of that now feels embarrassing. Those problems are so minute in comparison to the families and communities suffering the loss of a loved one. All I can do is appreciate that those are the problems I am stuck with for now and appreciate that I have a life to live at the moment.
To all of you who have lost someone, whether it be recently, a year ago, or a couple decades ago, it will be okay. Of course, nothing can possibly make dealing with something so tragic better, but it will get easier. Take comfort in the fact that death binds us all. We all deal with it, we all experience it, and we will all meet it eventually. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, colored, rich, poor, American, Asian, or anything else – we all experience this one thing the same and we all hurt the same. I don’t quite know what my message here is, but in the darkness of these recent events, I just wanted my friends and everyone else to know that you are never alone. It is okay to hurt, it is okay to be sad, and it is okay to not be okay. Enjoy every moment of your life and make others feel appreciated every moment of theirs because you never know when they will be taken away from you. Appreciate your current problems before they turn into tragedies. Make people feel loved and love yourself and every moment of your absolutely beautiful life.