The world’s population changes on a minute by minute basis. People are born and people die every single day. My grandmother recently passed away and her passing has provoked in me a desire to closely examine and deeply feel how these fluctuations in our world’s population affect us all. My grandmother was 79 and in poor health at the time of her passing. She lived a long and full life, not without its many challenges but most would still say she was one of the lucky ones. I certainly consider her so. Although, yes, thanks to modern medicine people have the ability to live well into their 80’s, 90’s and beyond, she had been struggling for sometime to stay alive and that struggle was met with her peaceful passing in the company of family. It seems like an alright way to go, especially if your end is inevitable. I am deeply saddened by her passing but am somewhat elated to know that her suffering will no longer be a burden she has to bear. May my grandmother rest in peace and know she will be thought of fondly and forever missed.
This peaceful ending to a long life, filled with children, many grandchildren and countless great-grandchildren, is grievously not the way that all people get to exit this world. Taking a quick look at recent news provides all the evidence we need to support that fact. Tragedies are occurring all over the world on a regular basis and human life is being cut drastically and needlessly short as a result. I’m not speaking exclusively to terrorist activities, but also to pointless violence, recklessness and a general disregard for those we all share this great planet with. The point is, that death, however inevitable it may be, should not be a consequence of your environment, or your ethnicity or even simply your position at any given time. It should be the ending to a great life fully lived, not the sudden closing of a book that has only just begun to be written.
With the uncertainty of one’s mortality hanging in the midst, it really makes me stop and think. I think about how important the little things in life are. I think about how meaningful a hug from a loved one can truly be. Or how a simple text saying “hey, I know we haven’t spoken in a while but please know that I’m thinking about you and truly hope you are well” can spread a smile that may in-turn prove to be infectious! I’m not preaching that everyone should empty their bank accounts and go travel the world because you never know when your last day on earth will be. What I’m alluding to is the sentiment of truly enjoying every moment to the best of your ability.
I am a mother of a 2 year old girl, and about to be the mother of a new baby boy. As a result of being quite pregnant and the mother to an active toddler, there are days when I’m so exhausted that the idea of getting up and cleaning my house makes me a bit weepy (remember I am pregnant which is always a legitimate excuse for being weepy). And if I lay down on the couch or cozy up on the carpet, what does my toddler do? She goes and grabs me her favourite cuddle blankets and her most prized possession on the planet, her stuffed puppy, and she proceeds to tuck me in and kiss my head. Now this act, even though it has happened to me countless times, always brings a tear to my eye. These are the types of moments that we need to all focus on and really find the beauty in, because really, any act of kindness is true beauty in its most natural form.
Recently, far too many innocent people have been taken from this earth well before it was their time to go. Far too many people are unable to be tucked in by their children, or were unable to ever have children at all, thanks to their untimely deaths. Far too many lives continue to be cut short around the world, in our own country, even in our own neighbourhoods. Take time to revel in the beautiful moments that you are fortunate enough to experience and really try to search for the silver lining in every experience you have. Go in for that extra kiss, linger for those extra moments of happy conversation, do things that make you genuinely happy. As we have all recently witnessed, there are no certainties in life, so be happy in your present and strive to make it as full as possible.
My grandmother passing is indeed sad, but it is by no means a tragedy. Having had my chance to say goodbye to her prior to her passing is a gift that so many people are not given, and I will forever be grateful for that time I was so generously allotted.