After the highs of last week, the end of the week brought sobering news. Within the space of 24 hours I heard of two passings: one a friend from the States, the other a new acquaintance in Amsterdam. After a long week, the news left me emotionally drained, and I went offline and turned inwards for the weekend.
On Saturday morning I got a call on the landline: the grandfather of a friend had passed away in the night. These three deaths- one a friend, the other an acquaintance, one I never even met- affected me greatly, and I spent the weekend thinking of them, all three of them. I carried them around with me all weekend, like heavy bricks. I had all of the natural reactions to death- sadness, nostalgia, mourning, loss, regret, thoughts of the last time we met, thoughts of those left behind and unfinished business.
But I thought about life as well. I spent the weekend thinking about the passing of time, and what you should do with your time, and who you should spend it with. I thought about who you want next to you at the end, but also for the entire duration of life. And I thought about what, on a daily level, you should do with the time you have, and what will be left behind after you pass. These heavy bricks became lighter, less of a sad load to carry, more of a means of building something, a foundation to lay down, a path to pave, a direction to take.
I didn’t come to any firm conclusions or answers, but I did realize that way too much of our time is spent caught up in distractions and obligations and damaging emotions, when what you really should be focusing on is: love, compassion, kindness, friends and family. I am grateful that I took the time to think about these three men and their lives, and I appreciate the guidance that I received from it, guidance that they will never know they supplied.
In the end, it all boils down to love. I am going to use these bricks to build a path of love. That’s my direction, that is what I am taking from this weekend on introspection and remembrance of three lives passing.