When Someone We Love Dies, It Reminds Us How to Live

A sad thing happened today. 

When I was on 8th grade, I sat next to a cheeky boy with big friendly smile. We sat next to each other for a semester. This morning, he passed away. This happened overnight after a strong cold. Everyone was shocked. 

When I first saw the new, it didn’t hit me much. We didn’t keep contact after junior high. But slowly through the morning, memories of 8th grade and the table-mate came to me. 

I remember him making jokes, his big cheeks, and grin. All the time we did exercises next to each other in silent. Our table was at the end of the class. We often leaned back on the wall behind us, yawned, stared at the clock, waiting for the class to pass so we can go out and play. 

I remember that I “exaggerated” things - you know kids do that. I told him that I lived in a big vila; and that my mother was the chief surgeon in a big hospital. One day he found out the truth that my family lived in a tiny apartment, and my mom was a normal doctor at local healthcare. I remember the hot wash of shame through my face and my body. 

He used to be the boy closest to me in class. Even though many years have passed since we last met, I can’t help but feeling bewildered by his death. So sudden. He is too young. 

And I look at life. Something so beautiful, yet so vulnerable. Like the bubbles we blow from the soap water. It floats up in the air. Shining 7 rainbow colors. Radiant and gorgeous for one moment. And the next moment. Pop. We never know when. 

I think of all the unexpected deaths of all the people in this world. How many per day?

And yet so many of us live as if life is a race. We need to be fast. We need to get ahead. We keep our head down and we hustle. 

Where do we think we’re going anyway? We know where our body - with no exception - will end up at: our grave. 

I think now of a quote I love from Vision in Avenger - Age of Ultron: “A thing isn't beautiful because it lasts.” 

So let’s enjoy our human body when our heart still beats, while our breath still comes and goes. 

Let’s enjoy our human emotions while we can still feel them. 

Let’s enjoy our human life while it lasts. Because one thing we can be sure of: it won’t last forever. 

That’s why it’s so precious. That's why we must live, not just mere exist. Now.