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Thoughts on Life and Death, Revisited

I had been staring at my computer screen. I was supposed to be typing a post about the weekend happenings on Maui.  There’s a lot going on this weekend – it’s packed with wonderful family oriented events geared for the holidays.  But I  just didn’t have the energy and motivation to gather all the event details and assemble it into a blog post. If you’re here looking for the information on this weekend’s events, please go visit Aloha Luxury Properties Facebook Page  and the links are there.

As I initally was trying to get motivated to write, I went to Liza’s Eyeview looking for a previous post about Christmas Events on Maui. I ended in a post that I wrote one Thursday in December of 2007.  As I read my musing, my mood changed.  I thought it’s worth sharing it again.  Not a cheerful kind of post, it’s on the melancholic side, but there’s a lesson to learn:

Thoughts on Life and Death

Yesterday morning I opened up a Christmas card  & letter from a dear family  friend. As I was reading their letter, I felt very jealous and envious. This  family is “perfect” I thought. They have almost everything most families dream  of- responsible God fearing Dad; stay-at-home Proverbs 31 Mom (has side jobs but only part time); 3 beautiful young kids ( 1 girl 2 boys) are doing well in  school and extra curricular activities such as sports and arts; they travel  around the nation (and soon around the world) as a family; they have lots of  loving family and friends; they have a beautiful home on Maui; they are actively  serving at their church; I mean – what a “life”! I was jealous… I really was.

Not that my life is “lacking”, but somehow, when I compared our situation to  theirs… oppps, there you go “compare” – that was the culprit! We should never  compare!

Also yesterday morning, when I called the office to say I was  going to be late, I received a very sad news. One of our employees, a  young 24 year old lad, died of a motorcycle accident on his way to work! The  news was devastating. It’s hard enough to hear news about death on any day, but it seems even harder to receive such news on a season like this, when everyone seems to be or are supposed to be “celebrating”. It was a devastating news to  all of us in the company. He is a relatively new employee but he’s a very nice  guy who is just starting anew. He is also the step-son of another employee of  ours, who just moved in the subdivision we just built. He is the ONLY SON of his  wife; and their “only son” too because our employee (the step-dad) and his wife  do not have kids). It was a sad day in the workplace. Please say a prayer for  his family. I can’t even imagine how losing an only son would feel – devastating  of course, but even more…

Our boss decided to order lunches and had it  delivered to the lad’s parents’ house so we can all gather there. All the workers (about a hundred of us) gathered in the house of this employee to support and  love them. There were hugs and tears. ….

After that, the “jealousy” I felt for our other friends melted away. Funny how when we are confronted with the “life and death” situations (ours or others we know), our perspective align  better than when we just try to decipher life without the context of  death.

One comforting and touching thing we heard was that the last word  uttered to this lad by his mom was “I LOVE YOU”. It was not on the accident  scene because his mom wasn’t there, and he died on the spot of the accident. The I LOVE YOU was uttered the night before. The night before the accident, this lad  was in his parents house for dinner. When he went home his mom asked him to call  them as soon as he arrive home. He did. And before they hang up the phone, his  mom said I love you to him … Little did they know that that “I love you” is  also a “goodbye”…

 

4 Responses to Thoughts on Life and Death, Revisited

  1. Karen Johnson December 2, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Poignant post, Liza. Saying goodbye is never easy…actually the hardest thing we do in this life. Tonight we have a women’s event at our new VA church and the speaker is a lady from Joplin, MO whose nephew was sucked out of the family car by that deadly tornado in May…the same day Joey went to heaven. She is talking about seeing God even in the tragedies of life, and I am so ready to hear what she has to say. I am convinced now that nothing can separate us from the love of God…not even death. Hugs to you, friend.
    Love, Karen J

  2. Dania December 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Sadness. My thoughts, prayers and love sent to the family and friends. I read something today of the 5 biggest regrets on one’s death bed. Here they are from heartfelt memory:
    1. Don’t work so hard and so many hours.
    2. Don;t spend time living someone else’s dream.
    3. Spend more time with family – just being together.
    4. Do more thing and activities that you love and enjoy.
    5. Tell the people that you love that you LOVE THEM.

    I love you Liza. Gentle reminders.

  3. Tania December 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    The thing about envy, we never know fully what is happening in someone’s life, especially if they radiate positive energy. Every family has challenges and struggles, past, present or in the future. Every life has its good points and its bad. There are many divorced couples who on the outside, appeared to be the perfect match, fabulous fashionistas who can’t pay the rent and sweet, kind women with lovely husbands and a mother in law who hates them.

    My friend Lecia was the kindest person I knew, she wasn’t nice to be polite, she was completely genuine. She had many friends, a good job and a wonderful husband. They traveled everywhere and she always made me pose for a million pictures when we were on tennis trips. Lecia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008, she fought the fight for a year, then her counts doubled. In a few weeks she was gone. Lecia’s passing made me think a lot about life, how short it is, how it can turn on a dime and how incredibly unfair it was that her family lost her and her father from the same disease in a year’s time. Like you, I realized how nothing else seems to matter when faced with the loss of a loved one.

    Dania is a wise lady…I try to live my life the same. As women, we sometimes easily fall into number two which is a whole other story for another day 🙂 Hugs to you Liza…

  4. Jill December 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Liza, thank you for the reminder about what really matters.

    Life is so short in the grand scheme of things it’s not worth harboring those those feelings.

    Sing, like no one’s listening,
    Dance, like no one’s watching,
    Work, like you don’t need the money,
    Give, like you expect nothing in return,
    Live, like there’s heaven on earth,
    Love, like you’ll never get hurt,
    Laugh, like no one can hear you.

    – Unknown

    When I was a claims adjuster handling fatality claims death was always in my face telling me that tomorrow is neither guaranteed nor promised to anyone. Life is a precious gift for a moment, as quickly as we come into the world we go out.

    Thank you for this entry..

    Warmest Aloha Liza.

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