DEATH

“Death is necessary and cannot be avoided. I mean, where am I going to go to get away from it?” Epictetus (Discourses – Book I, 108)

First off, if you’re struggling with death, please talk with me. I’m here for you.

Tragically, suddenly, slowly, violently, peacefully. Pets, coworkers, friends or family. It’s all around, yet we are all affected by it differently.

Everyone has lost someone. Some more than others.

The school shooting last week during Valentines Day in Florida was horrifying to hear about. That same day, a friend of many from our neighborhood took her life. Tragic deaths on the spectrum.

There aren’t many soothing words to share from situations like this. But, we can be confident that those who have passed would want us to enjoy and cherish what we have – life.

Not to carry on sadness from their passing. Not to hold onto remorse, regret, and hatred about their death. Not to dwell in the darkness that shadows life’s brightness.

No.

When I was 10 years old, I remember visiting my grandfather at his home in NY. He was dying from his 3rd round of cancer and was at home to be comfortable. Several surgeries and successes in beating it before were jubilant times, but after already having his hip replaced and stomach removed, cancer spread throughout his body.

Our family had driven up from NC where we were living at the time to say our goodbyes and give support to our grandmother. While Papa was being cared for in the living room, which was closed off from the rest of the house, we were allowed to see him in small spurts.

The last time I was allowed to see him I brought the gold medal I won from setting the NY state record in a swimming event; I gave it to him to hold on to, asked him if I’d see him in heaven, prayed with him, gave him hugs and love, and said goodbye. He died that evening. It was hard – he had taught me how to tie my shoes, play chess, whistle, golf, and he set examples that we strive for today. His life, not death, gave inspiration, love, and cherishable moments to innumerable people. Isn’t THAT what we should be focused on?

At 6 my favorite pet was killed.

At 12 a friend from NY died of cancer.

At 13 one of my best friends was hit by a car and died.

The only time I wore my favorite punk band’s, Suicide Machines, bowling shirt, my uncle committed suicide.

Our family has seen all but one grandparent pass.

A lot of pets have been killed or passed on.

Hell, I tried to kill myself in 2004.

There are too many friends and family to write here, but let’s not forget them.

This isn’t a boo-hoo story of loss.

No, I’m telling these stories as an example – we all have had lots of loss. And if we haven’t, we will. It’s OK. EVERYTHING will die; there’s no reason to be scared or sad about it. These examples should show us that we need to make today great. Take opportunities. Live, laugh, learn, LOVE.

If you would like to talk about this please reach out. I WILL HAVE TIME FOR YOU

Life, let’s go!

With love,

Jason

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