There isn’t a life that doesn’t matter or a story with no association to the heart. I’m fascinated with death for many reasons, all of them related to life.
A highly respected man has died. It’s not enough to write. It’s not even enough to read.
Too meaningless. Too generic. As if reporting the weather to share that the sun rose today.
Parting from the norm, his obituary was long and exceptionally decorated with a list of all the medals he’d earned. Those they call survivors fell in line last, as per usual. His cause of death was not offered, but because I knew, I wondered where the line between pride and politics fell, and how many had died and lived not wanting to cross it.
Years and years ago I researched methods, but courage is paid for with perseverance, and back then, I had neither. Even though I’ve paid the cost since then, bravery isn’t the reason I chose to live, and if I were to choose the date of my death, cowardice would not be the reason I died.
Man does not need to earn medals to be venerated, remembered, or loved.
A highly respected man has died. He sacrificed his life for others until believing they would be better off if he sacrificed his as well.
I know that place. For a while it felt like home, until it wasn’t.
It reminds me of a time I introduced my daughter to several people. Most commented about her eyes and how beautiful they were. But one stopped for just a millisecond to comment about something else.
That’s what it takes.
A billion milliseconds from a zillion hearts to look past the external flesh, its fleeting accolades, qualities, and placements, to recognize the invisible treasures and stifling prisons within each of us. One can’t exist without the other.
At some point, every man who is decorated will by nature feel unworthy, and every man who feels unworthy will by nature hope to be decorated. In both cases that man will die, but if we take a second to reflect love at any level, it can for some be enough to prevent them from taking ownership of the date.