A Note on Death

It’s 2:03 am and I have tears in my eyes. 10 minutes ago I didn’t and in 15 minutes I probably won’t, but right now… I’ve been in tears at 2 am far more times than I’d like to admit, mostly due to staying up all night to finish a show, but this time my reason is slightly more valid. I read an article, one I’ve been meaning to get to all day. It was supposed to be a quick read before I go to bed. So much for that. “When I’m Gone” is about the relationship between a boy and his deceased father, who continues to teach him life lessons through letters. From his first kiss all the way to his deathbed.

Death has followed me around for as long as I can remember. If it wasn’t pets I loved, it was the people I loved. If it wasn’t actual death, it was the threat of losing someone. Or it was merely present in my thoughts. Out of all my fears, most boil down to an ultimate fear of death. More specifically, it’s the finality of death. When I mourn someone or something, I don’t mourn that they’re dead per say, I mourn the loss of all future opportunities. I mourn the things they’ll no longer get to do, especially with me. In much the same way, I’m constantly concerned with the way I’ll leave my loved ones when that day comes. I wrote my first will in middle school. I haven’t been able to write one sense, because I always break into tears before finishing it.

I take some solace that I have more artifacts of me lying around the internet or my possessions than most. I have this entire website filled with my thoughts. I’ve got a channel with videos, a handful of journals with my dreams and worries in them, and an audio recorder with a few random late night rants on them. If somebody really tried they could get a pretty complete picture of who I was. But that’s not enough. Those bits and pieces are me talking about movies, or me complaining about my problem of the week. No, I think the real pieces that matter are those that someone can learn something from.

Every year for the past four or five years, I’ve written a letter to myself on New Years. I started this because I was lonely and wanted to make sure I followed up on my resolutions. However, in the following years it became more about remembering who I was. From year to year my priorities and even my attitude changed, but some things remained constant. The person who reads those letters will learn something about me, the same way I do every year.

But enough about me, what about all the other important things? How will I help my sister through college? How will I teach my future niece/nephew about the unexplained events that proliferate our world? How will I impart those accidentally helpful bits of advice onto my friends? How will I convince the woman I love that she’s the most amazing person on the planet, who can and should do anything she sets her mind to? How will I show my parents that for every bit of pride they’ve shown of me, I’ve feel towards them ten-fold? How will I make sure that everybody remembers who I was, what I thought, and how I felt about them?

By asking these questions, I’ve inadvertently answered some, but I don’t think I’ll stop there. I’ve got a lot of writing to do. I encourage everyone to do the same. Leave your mark. Not on the world, but on the people you care about. You don’t need everybody to remember you, as long as somebody never stops.

I should really go to bed.

To Scott…

Today may not have been about you as much as it should have been, but that doesn’t mean I’ll EVER forget you or ignore you, even if you don’t care.
Suicide is a mistake, and it causes so much pain, but it can also cause greatness.
You caused us a lot of pain, but I hope you take comfort in that while I wish you were still here, your death sparked many great things in my life. It taught me about people, life, death and everything inbetween so that I could make a difference. Like I did tonight.
I toast my imaginary beer to you and with a loud belch proclaim that I am and will always be your nephew.