On Saturday morning, my mom delivered some news to my brother and I that left us with gaping mouths and wide eyes, staring at each other. My uncle, who had been in critical condition in the hospital, had just been pronounced dead. Within hours, our lives had changed drastically without warning.
He had died of a heart attack and had been slightly older than my father. His health had never been a problem up until, well, those final hours. My aunt had taken to grieving in her room, only coming out to visit us for fleeting moments before retreating once again. Even with surrounding family there to comfort her, her eyes made it seem like she was lost or searching for something. Maybe what she was searching for were much-needed answers from the powers that be.
Life has a funny way of waiting for you to find yourself in a comfortable, blissfully ignorant state before turning your whole life around, for better or worse. I sometimes think that life enjoys taking advantage of the fact that we, as humans, are creatures of habit. We find ourselves in a routine, whether it’s with our schedules or our relationships with other people, but there are always indeterminable variables that leave me feeling like I have no control over my own life. It’s a messy, sporadic, and emotional business that control freaks like me cannot stand.
The only advice that I have found helpful has been that things might not be better tomorrow, maybe not even the next day, but I can guarantee that things will be better another day. Those wounds won’t ever go away, but they’ll fade and scar over, and the bruises will fade. And if you’re living your life to its full potential when you can, it’ll be less of a hardship when tough times hit because you’ll at least have the memories from better days to be grateful for. Life isn’t going to be any easier on you if you lose hope in harsh times, so brace yourself for the downs and praise the ups when you get them.
Just as Kahlil Gibran puts it, “when you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”. And you can say that life would be better off without loss or sorrow, but without them, we can’t possibly appreciate the joys and gifts that life gives us. Besides, how interesting is a rollercoaster that has no downs, and in turn, no ups?