Saturday, March 17, 2007

Death's Purpose

Yesterday was the first year anniversary of the death of a friend of mine. She was 45 years old at the time. She had just moved from Ansonia, Connecticut to Austin, Texas and was starting a new life. She had left her marriage and was prepared to start out on her own.
Through the kindness of another friend who was in the position to help her get down there and get started, she had just landed an apartment, a vehicle to drive, and she was starting work for the first time in years. March 16th was her first day on the new job as a pastry chef, however, it was a temporary arrangement for her because she really wanted to work in a bookstore or a library because she loved reading books.

She had read thousands of books and remembered them all in detail. She had an awesome memory and a terrific sense of humor. Also she was a writer and a very talented poet. She liked posting to her blogs. In fact, although the actual time and date of her death were uncertain because she was found a few days later, I have to assume it was the 16th, because it makes sense that she would have posted something about her first day at her new job as soon as she was home and had rested.

She was type II diabetic at a serious degree, and I assume that was the cause. Her sister said that she passed quietly in her sleep. Somehow that seemed appropriate for her because she spent so much time in her dream world. Her writings, her dreams, her poetry, all her friends were online friends. And most of all her living was done during the night. A time of dreams.

Thinking about her passing has made me think about death itself.

Death has a purpose, doesn't it?

It makes us want to enjoy every sandwich. It makes us try to accomplish what we can while we can. It makes us want to make a difference - to make our little visit here count in some way.

If we had all of time to accomplish our goals here, then many of us would procrastinate forever. There would always be time to do it later. Ironically - one of our goals while here is to learn that! So we need the clock to teach us to move forward. To get things done.

I want to live and behave in such a way that everyone who I ever meet, even for just a few moments, will have something memorable and useful and positive from that brief encounter. I would like to leave my imprint on everyone's life I touch. Not just for notoriety - but rather for the benefit to them. Every time I meet a person, it's an opportunity to help them in some way. I don't want to waste the opportunity. It may not always be practical or possible, but I try. Why not?

Sometimes, I just share a joke and a smile. Or, maybe something I said may have a more profound effect and maybe prevents a suicide. Sometimes I can solve a complicated technical problem or maybe give a new insight or creative new perspective to someone to help them in their path. The other day I saw a teenage girl trying to change a flat tire, and she was dressed in her good clothes, and her dad was trying to talk her through it over the phone. I was at lunch and I had the opportunity to stop and change the tire for her. It was a small thing for me, but it was a big thing for her. Sometimes I only bring a smile to a tiny little girls face by doing a little trick to amuse her. All these things are well worth my time.

Also, I certainly don't want to get to the end of my time here and then find that all I had done was to work to pay the bills every month and watch television every night for decade after decade. I don't want to pass on and leave nothing behind. So I write and record music, I write books and blog articles, I struggle to create some sort of legacy. Maybe it is a conceit to think my efforts may be worth anyone's notice, but then maybe not. I don't know - I only know that I should try my best.

Some people say they will go kicking and screaming into the night, resisting death until the last possible second. But not me. I do not fear death. I know that it is not the end, it is merely a change of state. I know that I will continue on in a new form. Still, it makes sense to do as much in life as I can while I am here.

When my time comes, I will go quietly and peacefully into that new adventure, because I accept that the universe is in balance and I do not presume to know better. All is as it needs to be.


At 3/21/2007 1:02 PM, Anonymous lauren said...

I miss ev.

I was never sure what exactly happened to her either.

At 3/26/2007 11:27 PM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

Sometimes I wonder if she comes back to visit us. Just floats around to take a peek and check on us.



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