Death is a weird thing.
In such a dark time you can still find so much light and promise. Families come together, friends pull through for support, and love is everywhere in grieving.
Earlier this week my grandfather passed away. It was the first death on my mother’s side and my grandmother is not in the best health herself, so the family was particularly worried about how the death would affect everyone.
While the week brought a lot of tears and broken hearts, it also brought a beautiful sense of togetherness.
I reconnected with family that I haven’t seen in years, I hugged relatives that I haven’t even so much as shaken hands with since I was a child, and any awkwardness or petty family drama seemed to melt away the moment everyone was together.
There was no shortage of love.
It put things into perspective for my family. It was both a reminder of the brevity of life, as well as a wake up call that in the end, nothing matters except love.
In the eulogies, no one spoke about his money, or his successes, or his accomplishments.
They spoke about his character, his kindness, his advice, his supportive nature, and their memories with him.
When you die, no one cares if you made millions or had a wildly successful career. The legacy you leave behind does not depend on the size of inheritance you leave your children or grandchildren.
The money will run out. People will forget what you did and how “important” you were.
But no one will forget the time you spent with them or how you made them feel.
It can be easy to get caught up in the grind of our day-to-day lives and lose perspective on what’s important. It can be easy to choose convenience over doing the right thing when it comes to family because we think family will always be there and will always love us no matter what.
But one day that person won’t be at any more Christmas dinners, or be around to take your call on their birthday. One day we will all be gone, and we never know when.
That’s why death is not just a time to remember the one who passed. It is also an opportunity to learn and grow as a family with a renewed perspective.
Death is sad. Death is hard. Death is ugly. Death is painful.
But in death we can also find our greatest realizations of love. Experiencing a death blesses us with a chance to rebuild and re-prioritize. It’s the silver lining to a very dark time.
And it’s an incredibly important thing to never lose sight of.
When life gets dark, don’t lose sight of love.