Today, on my walk in my neighbourhood, I stumbled upon a memorial of Liam. I don’t know who Liam is, but this was a beautiful memorial with the words: “You’ll never walk alone” written in flowers, with pictures and messages from friends and family around the fence or tied to it. I couldn’t help but stop and take a closer look, read and try to find out who Liam was. Ironically, I probably would have never even paid a second look to Liam if he was just passing me by on the street, probably never would have bothered to smile at him or get to know him because he was a mere stranger-but in his death-this stranger’s memorial pulled me closer. There were clues; he seemed to have something to do with Liverpool and football (soccer). He enjoyed life and was loved by many. Other than that, I didn’t know who he was, or how he died. I couldn’t help but be roped in to spend more time at the memorial and try to find out more about him. A young lad, a life lost too soon. One of the pictures had a heart-breaking message on it-which read: “Liam, you are now in heaven with your bro Dan”. This broke my heart because I imagined that Liam had also lost a brother-implying that his parents now had two dead children. I could feel my heart shudder upon reading that. How cruel life is!
This memorial was a somber reminder of the fickleness of life, and how it is fleeting us by. The memorial reminded me that once we go, we are nothing more than a collection of a few pictures, memorabilia, artifacts, words and memories strewn together by those around us. That is all that remains-a shadow of the living person. No one knows the real you-your inner demons remain unbeknownst to the world. The fight that takes place within you between good and evil; none know of it. All they remember or choose to remember once we are gone are a few special memories. As if the bad we did, erased from memories-it just doesn’t exist. The image we get of a person at a memorial or on their funeral is one who is always loved, one who was a perfect being. But, seldom is that the truth.
Human beings are complex creatures; we aren’t just black and white. There are so many shades of grey that define us. We spend majority of our lives CHOOSING to hate, CHOOSING to make enemies, CHOOSING to judge and CHOOSING to assume the worst in each other. When one of us is taken from amongst us-we are shook to our core-awakened! We realize how stupid we were to let tiny grievances get in the way. We realize how pathetic we sound for judging someone-for hating/disliking them. So, when we remember the individual who passed away, for those few moments, we aren’t even honest with ourselves-We IGNORE the hatred, dislike and reasons we judged them! We ignore everything and only remember the good in them. We forget the time they back-stabbed us, hurt us, fought with us, broke our hearts-hardly anyone ever upon hearing of someone’s death says: “Good they finally got what they deserved”.
This is the irony of life-the person when alive-the living, breathing creature, walking amongst us wasn’t worthy of a second chance, wasn’t worthy of being forgiven, but in death, when the last breath has been knocked out of them-we forgive– we forget!!! All that remains are the artifacts, the photos, and words of people to describe who we were-our sins, our good deeds tucked away with us as our remains. Sow what you want to reap-enjoy the relations in this life now, cherish and love them. Leave a legacy and a lasting impression! Make the effort to know the human beings around you, rather than judge them by the sum of their parts because ultimately we will be left to the words of those same strangers to describe who were.
To Him we belong, to Him shall we return