By Deanna Campbell
Two people I know have died this week.
One, an 80 year-old – a beautiful old soul with a terrible potty mouth that had a knack for saying the inappropriate at just the right times. She died in a car, closed her eyes and drifted away.
The other, a beautiful young woman I’d only ever had the pleasure of meeting once. In the one, and only conversation I had with her, she told me about her dreams, her excitement for the future, her future. She died when she jumped off a building, taking with her, her laugh, her heart and all of the reasons why.
Suffice to say, I’ve been thinking a lot about death this week. How the end is inevitable, how one day, we all have to say goodbye. Is it weird that somewhere between the tears and the calmness of my first funeral for the week, my mind drifted off and I began to think about the fact that one day, everyone I love will be gone?
I thought about my mother. The most beautiful woman I know. I thought about how she laughs when she tells us that the one song she wants playing at her funeral is November Rain. I thought about what I’d say when she’s gone. I wondered if my heart would have the strength to carry on.
I thought about my grandfather’s funeral – how my grandmother sat next to his coffin, holding his hand, staring at his face, empty eyes trying to find a way to comprehend how unfair it was that life must go on. I doubt I’d be that strong.
My husband once died. Three weeks after our wedding, when most couples would be starting their journey, I was listening to a doctor tell me that my husband died that morning, and ten minutes later, came back. I remember tears and silence and my mother telling me it’ll all be alright. Death touched me that day, in a way it never had before, and I was afraid.
Death is inescapable. One day, you’ll be gone and life will fill the space you left behind. Most days I try to pretend that that’s not the case but this week, it’s become clearer than ever. Live. Love. Laugh. Write down words, tell stories, make memories for the people you love to store away. One day we’ll all be gone, but I hope, with all my heart, that in a smile, in a story, in a word – we’ll all be remembered.
Deanna spends her days buried in a jumble of words and her nights trying to balance family life and everything in between, all while doodling the name Grohl on her notepad and watching reruns of Supernatural. If it’s on TV, she’s seen it. If it’s the latest fad diet… she’s tried it. She’s got a lot to say. Be warned.