On Life, The Present, and Stuff

…And this is why I can’t do blog challenges XD

I lack persistence! And just… stuff gets in the way. *sigh*

Well

It’s been a while… and I am continually surprised at how quickly things change. Too quickly, it seems…

I think one thing that brings me to the computer tonight is the very recent death of a classmate of mine.

Just now a freshman at UVA and 18 years old, he was destined for success. Recipient of both academic and swimming accolades, he was very intelligent and loved by his friends.  He sat two seats away from me in AB Calculus last year, and also dated one of my close friends.

I learned last night that he died in his sleep due to a seizure.

Though I was not close with him, my friend was, and all she could seem to do was replay the last not-so-nice parts of their relationship in her head and wish that she had let him know she meant none of it.  She wondered if he felt sad, that he would never go to college, never marry, never have children.
I felt her sadness.
She told me she attended church last night and one of her close family friends who she ran into by chance asked her what she was doing there and at that, she broke down. She told me she and her family friend ended up praying together and that somehow she knew, the guy would be all right. “He’s getting a front row seat to Jesus’ birthday party,” she told me on our way to work today. I agreed, saying that heaven had indeed gained another angel.

But her thoughts lingered in my thoughts.  I got to thinking about life and death, the before and after.  Can the dead feel disappointment? Do the good that do die young feel sadness that they are no longer with their mortal lives and loved ones? Do the departed get a chance at a holier, even better life with the Big Man Upstairs?

When I was younger I was fascinated with stories that proclaimed people had seen heaven. It’s a mysterious place, and, depending on one’s religion, it’s sometimes hard to buy into.

There are times when I wish I had an answer– What exactly is there after death? Why even do the good die young? Better yet, why must the young die?

What ever the answers to those questions, I do know one thing. Sometimes, we get caught up in the “stuff”. The things, the bling, the clothing, the work, the time.  I am… probably the biggest hypocrite and probably shouldn’t be preaching this…. but I’m serious.
I want to slow things down, make the connections that are important.
With family.
With friends.
With strangers, even.
Because sometimes, all to fast, it’s gone. And with my classmate, it wasn’t his fault at all– it’s unfair that he passed. Completely. But it just goes to show how fragile life is, and how we shouldn’t trade, sell, or pass up any moment for anything.

This holiday season, do something for me. Love a little greater, laugh a little harder, thank-you a little genuine-er…  I can bet you I’ll be doing the same. ❤

 

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