Life, Loss and the Lesson

The fragility of life is not something I contemplate on a daily basis. Yet, sometimes, life throws you a massive curveball, in this case a tragedy, that completely changes your outlook.

I lost two family members  – my Aunt and Uncle, under very tragic circumstances a couple of weeks ago, and I’m just now coming to terms with the thought that I will not ever see them again, hear their laughs or feel their hugs. Even now as I type this, it’s hard to believe.

As I sort through it though, one thing is glaringly obvious – life is so utterly fragile, and you never know what can happen on any given day. You can be out on a walk and never come home. Yet, this of course, is not something we think about on a daily basis and it is absolutely tragic that we don’t.

Live each day as it’s your last is an easy thing to say, yet difficult to practice. Running from home to work, or school, or meeting and coffees or dinners, we forget to stop and focus on the truth – are we happy? Is what we are doing on daily, weekly, monthly basis, making us happy? If it isn’t, the answer is simple, change it. Whatever it is, in the simplest way possible, make a change. Apply to that job you never think you’ll get. Call that man that you are helplessly crazy over. Buy that dress that you have no place to wear, but can’t get out of your head. Do everything that your heart desires as long as you’re here, because you never know when you won’t be.

I lost another Aunt when I was 18 and while it was devastating, it taught me to live out every desire I had, while I was healthy and here. I moved to New York City, I had a job that I only dreamed of having up to that point. Yet, after moving back to California, over the past few years I’ve become stagnant again. I go places and put up with things that don’t make me happy because they “must be done.” However, in actuality, I don’t have to do anything that doesn’t make me happy. While there will always be ups and downs, on a whole, I would rather choose to be happy. The cliche is right, life is just too short to be unhappy and I need to change those things that do not bring me joy.

My Aunt and Uncle were married for over twenty years. They had their share of ups and downs, yet they had a happy life with three beautiful children in a loving home. That is what life is truly about – family, love and happiness. I promise to live that way from this day forward and I know my Aunt and Uncle will be looking down, continuing to smile on.

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