A mentor and good friend of mine passed away this morning. Lots of emotions and memories ran through me upon reflection on our relationship. In an interesting way, I began to reflect on my reaction to hearing when I have been told others have passed away.
For some, because we were not close and I did not know them well, I am respectful and feel sorrow for the family but my heart did not cry.
For others, that I knew better but only saw them on occasion, I again feel sorrow and remorse for not being able to share good times together again. Again, my heart did not cry.
For a few, that I have had the honor of knowing in depth and sharing hours of conversation that led to introspection, reflection and growth because of their caring about me, the large amount of time we spent together, their ability to not judge me and trying to give me more than I could ever give them, my heart could not stop crying.
Different people touch our lives in different ways. At different times. The lessons learned when someone dies is that they provide us the opportunity to see things differently by reflecting on how we react to their death. Seeing things differently might lead to us making different choices in how we interact with others in the future,
For someday, we will be the one who will die and the question is how will we be remembered?
Will we choose to remain alone, keeping most as distant acquaintances? Laughing with many at a party or banquet never seizing the opportunity to get to know them better? Will we run away from the weight of responsibility of really caring about another person in good times and bad? Do we always try to take more than we receive or do we give more than we take?
How we are treated by others gives great insight into how we want to be treated. This only comes into focus when someone dies. Yet we miss it most of the time because of our tears and emotions that we commonly associate with death. Never giving us an opportunity to reflect on their life and how they treated others or how they treated us.
Their death gives us a genuine gift of being able to adjust how we treat others today differently once we reflect on their life and story and seeing where we fall short.
For someday, we will be looking up at others from our own casket who will be telling the story of our life. How will they react? What stories will they tell about us? What lessons did we learn through our lifetime?
It really depends on how you choose to treat others each day of your life. For we rarely give thought to the fact that we have the power to write their stories, at the end of our life, throughout the many years that we walk on this earth.