Life is Finite

Beaver Island

Beaver Island, Michigan


Do you ever stop for a just a moment and think about the specific point in time that you are living? Maybe it’s soundless; or piercingly jarring. Maybe the air is filled with the fresh scent of spring flowers, or dampened with rain. Maybe the air is filled with smells that we would prefer to escape. We may be cold and curled up under a blanket; or hot and peeling off layers until we can breathe again. Maybe we are distraught, or dancing with delight. Our mood may be right at the very narrow ledge of slipping down or up. However, wherever we are right now, we are alive.

I don’t know what the absence of sound is anymore since I have roaring tinnitus. I don’t know the absence of pain since my brain surgery — but I am alive. I am here. The people in my life allow me to stand with the strength of others instead of struggling alone.

I lost a friend recently. Tragically and senselessly. A friend who was younger than me. Healthier than me. Someone who I would have BET would outlive me and hopefully stop to remember me for a moment after I passed. But that is not fate. That is not the world we live in. That is not the world that my friend just left.

My heart hurts even as I laugh at memories of delight. We worked together and played together. I respected him immensely. I admired his incredible intelligence along with an amazing and unique mix of personality. We had so many stories that when we got together, we would revisit memories until we were almost falling out of our chairs in fits of laughter. And then we would add one more adventure to the beautiful portfolio of stories. A portfolio that ended too soon.

We often spin the gears in our brain trying to figure out why life is the way it is. We complain about the unfairness of it. We pout because doors have been closed to us.

But we are alive to pout. We are alive to complain. I prefer to be alive reaching for joy. Alive to reminisce even as I move forward. Alive to feel joy and treasure friendships that allow us to feel pain when the door to their lives close. Because to feel, to cry, and to laugh is to live. To feel heaviness in our hearts is to acknowledge that we experienced love, friendship, and camaraderie in this journey we call life. Life brings beauty, even in storm clouds.

One thought on “Life is Finite

  1. Rebecca

    I pondered about lives final moments many times, especially after a person close to you passes on, may it be one of your parents or your children who not suppose to leave before you. I still remember very vividly the morning of my own AN surgery, thinking what when this is your last moment before closing my eyes. I felt very peaceful about my own mortality, but to be more worried for my family. What when this should be the end of things. It made me aware that we are all mortal and that life itself is a terminal condition. We only can live in the moment and hope for tomorrow. Still in graduate school at the time of my surgery and only being allowed two terms of leave, I did not make it on time to finish my work toward my Ph.D., and I have to admit, I’m still grieving over that lost opportunity. Furthermore, I grieve over the physical impairments after surgery such as loss of hearing and impaired mobility and mental function. I still have to remind myself, I’m here and I’m alive. That is all that counts in the right here and now.


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