Ok, so the title is weird, but hear me out, the thoughts of the last week and culminating up through yesterday had me thinking a lot about that very subject.
You see, my brother’s ex-wife passed away yesterday. She was 45 years old and died of liver failure. While some of the health issues surrounding her death are probably going to be a mystery, the fact that she was addicted to alcohol was not.
She leaves behind family, a son and others.
So it got me thinking about a few things. We have been focused on Puerto Rico, Las Vegas and other tragedies and now here is one that is sort of affecting my family.
Imagine 45 years old and dying unexpectedly. Really, dying at any age can be tragic. Who mourns for you. When you’re dead I guess you don’t care. Mourners get a chance to focus on the people they want to remember. They get a chance to deal with their loss.
So this had me thinking about Yom Kippur which just passed last week. And we talk about being inscribed into the book of life. We know that people die everyday. And I would like to believe that God does not write people in some magical book and say, it’s your time to go, and the method is also predetermined by how you have lived your life.
Good people die. There is a great book, why bad things happen to good people that explains a lot. And sometimes you just have to accept death as part of life. No one knows how many breathes they will take, or how many heart beats they will have.
So I wonder, because life is so precious and I am focused on the future, which is good, but am I ignoring the now?
Who will remember me when I’m gone? Who will burn a candle in my honor, or place a stone on my grave? Does it matter?
I could get into the crazy esoteric aspects of the soul, but what it really is about is being loved and loving others.
Once a year, during Yom Kippur, they have a service called Yiskor, where they remember the dead. They remember loved ones. Family, friends, martyrs. Every Synagogue has Yahrzeit lights that are lit to recall the dead. You hope that people will be around to remember you, even if it means just turning the bulb on a light and saying your name at a service.
I will remember my loved ones. Because I know our days are numbered. And if I live longer than my friends, I will remember and light those candles and leave that stone.