Why Does It Seem Like Everyone Is Dying?

Monday, January 27, 2020

Last night as we stood in the kitchen, Emma turned to me and asked, "Why is everyone dying?". I wasn't expecting that question, and I fumbled for the right words to answer it. I find that death comes in waves. It's like the "bad things happen in threes" thing. You experience a series of deaths over a certain period of time, and then none at all for a while.

Last week a kindergarten teacher from the girls' former elementary school lost her long and courageous battle with cancer. Later that same day, a friend of theirs father passed away. And then, of course, on Sunday Kobe Bryant and his daughter along with 7 friends perished in a tragic helicopter accident. Because of Bryant's notoriety, his death is at the forefront of the media, and no matter what you do, it's difficult to escape it. It's a constant reminder of how short life is.

These deaths have forced me to examine my own mortality and to realize that life is so very fragile. The older I become, the more that realization starts hitting closer and closer to home. On the flip side, youth is not a guarantee. All of the deaths I mentioned above happened to those who were under the age of 55. That's young.

I am surprised by how reflective Kobe Bryant's death has made me. It has made me think about the legacy I leave behind. What will people say about me after I have left this world? What kind of impact will I leave on my children and the people who love me? What can I do better in this life and most importantly, what do I want to do before my time is ultimately up?

It brings to mind the quote from the movie The Shawshank Redemption? "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

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